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How a Connected Emergency Vehicle Preemption System Works

How the Glance Preemption System Works

When responding to an emergency, traffic congestion and red lights aren’t merely an inconvenience for first responders; they represent a critical delay in helping those in need. The Glance Preemption and Priority System uses a combination of hardware and software, working seamlessly together, to clear the path and get firefighters and first responders get to their destination faster and safer.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how the Glance Emergency Vehicle Preemption System works, what is included, and what a run looks like in action.

Hardware Components of the Glance Preemption System

The Glance Preemption system works by allowing Emergency Response Vehicles to communicate with traffic signals. Connectivity is established by installing a device inside traffic cabinets and fleet vehicles that includes cellular, radio (900 MHz), and GPS technology.

Each device includes a cellular modem which allows for communication between vehicles, infrastructure, and Glance to be routed over the 4G cellular network.

Glance Preemption System Hardware
Glance Preemption System Hardware: Cabinet Unit and In-vehicle unit

Our connected cabinet units are compatible with all major traffic intersection controllers and can easily be retrofitted into existing traffic signal cabinets.

The in-vehicle units are compatible with emergency vehicle on-board technologies and can be connected anywhere in the vehicle where power available to the unit.

Over 11,000 of these devices have been installed in more than 550 cities across the United States.

Preemption System Software: Glance

Once the emergency vehicles and intersections have the ability to communicate, they are connected to our cloud-based central software, Glance.

Glance is a browser-based platform that connects and displays the preemption system data in an easy-to-use application.

The software allows you to connect, control, configure and remotely monitor the system. All communication between the in-field devices and the Glance platform is routed over the cellular network, with each device using 4G.

Glance Preemption System Software
Glance: The Web-based Central System That Powers the Preemption System

The monitoring of the emergency preemption system includes tracking of vehicles, logging of vehicle information, replay of emergency calls, recording of average response times, call history, routes traveled, and calls per vehicle and intersection, to name a few.

This data is stored and readily available for view, analysis, and complete system evaluation. By being a cloud-hosted solution, users can log in to Glance using any internet-connected device.

“Seconds matter when you talk about lives. When you talk about minutes… that is significant. Not only is it faster in our response times, it’s also safer for the responders and our public.”
Chief Milligan – Marietta, GA


Green to Scene: How the System Works in Action

Once the hardware is installed and Glance is configured, using the system is simple. The moment an emergency run is triggered, Glance springs into action.

Often, the most critical traffic signal is the one closest to the station. Glance immediately senses that intersection and gives the opposing lanes a red light so traffic can start to clear. By the time the crew is on-board, the light they need is green, and the backlog is clear.

How the Glance Preemption System Works

Glance dynamically displays the best route and uses that data to begin proactively clearing traffic ahead of arrival. Using Adaptive Preemption technology, the route is monitored in real-time by the software, and the estimated time of arrival at each light is dynamically adjusted to ensure traffic back-ups have been cleared ahead of arrival.

“The drivers know they’ve got a green light in front of them, they know that everyone else has a red light, and they know the traffic is going to move ahead of them. This is the biggest improvement to response times that I’ve seen in my career.” – Chief Gibbs, Marietta, GA

Additionally, the system can be configured based on the preempting vehicles turn signals. The in-vehicle unit monitors emergency signals, indicators and ignition switch to have the ability to automatically request priority/preemption at the traffic intersections. During the installation and configuration process, both left and right turn indicators can be configured to activate preemption based on signal input.

Compared to older systems that utilize line-of-sight, infrared, or fixed-timing plans, the Glance system is able to deliver much faster response times. By combining GPS, cellular, and radio data in real-time, we can create a more accurate picture of what needs to happen at each intersection.

Clear the Way for Priority & Preemption

The Glance preemption system is an efficient and cost-effective way to help first responders. By giving preemptive green lights to those on the front line, you can clear the traffic blocking their route and get emergency responders to their destination faster and more safely.

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