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Post-Crash Response

In-vehicle technology that helps occupants to call for assistance after an accident can give first responders potentially life-saving information, quickly and efficiently.

SYNC 911: Alerting Emergency Responders

Our SYNC® in-car connectivity technology, which enables drivers to use cell phones and MP3 players through voice commands, also comes with a call-for-help system. SYNC 911 Assist (or Emergency Assistance outside the U.S.) can make an emergency call using a paired cell phone after a severe crash where an airbag is deployed, or the fuel pump shut off. The call can be initiated automatically, although a vehicle occupant can choose to cancel it.

As well as providing the operator with a GPS location, the system can relay vital data such as impact velocity, crash type, safety belt usage, whether multiple impacts were sustained and whether airbags were deployed. This information helps the emergency services understand the severity of the incident and dispatch the most appropriate response.

Most of our vehicles also carry the SOS-Post Crash Alert System™, which alerts passers-by and first responders to a vehicle’s location. In the event of airbag or safety belt pre-tensioner activation, it:

  • Automatically starts the hazard lights
  • Unlocks the vehicle doors
  • Sounds the horn (non-European vehicles only)

A European Union regulation on “Automated Emergency Calling Systems” was finalized in 2017, becoming mandatory on April 1, 2018 for new vehicles. In parallel, a UN regulation was adopted in November 2017, covering all in-vehicle systems and requirements to drive harmonization of this technology on a global scale.

Talking Tech Saves Lives

Trying to locate the source of a siren while driving can be stressful, and not getting out of the way can delay the progress of an emergency vehicle. So in 2017, we began trialing our new Emergency Vehicle Warning technology, designed to tell drivers if an emergency vehicle is approaching, and how far away it is. The technology could eventually advise drivers on the best course of evasive action.

Time is precious for emergency services and this technology could help to shave valuable seconds off their journeys by enabling drivers to avoid being an obstruction.”

Christian Ress,Supervisor, Automated Driving Europe, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering