Technology is rapidly changing the transportation industry, and emergency vehicle preemption systems are no exception. Optical-based preemption technology is being replaced by new innovations, and the progress of change seems to be picking up speed.
As wireless and cellular communications grow, so will the sophistication of preemption systems. The next five years will see exponential advancements in connection and inter-connectivity.
New levels of connection
Emergency vehicles will be connected to, and interact with, the transportation infrastructure in new and unthought of ways. Not only can a vehicle’s location be quickly identified and dispatched at a moment’s notice, but it will also follow the fire truck’s course and be able to communicate with traffic signals, clearing traffic well ahead of the vehicle’s arrival.
Emergency vehicles will also act as mobile data collectors, sending applicable weather, road condition, maintenance, and any other relevant reports back to their respective hubs. This level of connectivity will maximize the results across all systems and benefit motorists, pedestrians, emergency responders, and overall the community.
Smarter and dynamic route planning
As cities become more intelligent, transportation managers will have greater access to data that is beneficial to emergency responders. Technology will convert this data into actionable information that relays traffic congestion, construction, passing trains, un-passable roads, icy conditions, or other route obstructions might affect a vehicles response time.
Once on the scene, smart city technology will alert emergency responders to hydrant locations, and display if they’re functional, and their water flow rates, which will allow firefighters to use their time more efficiently and hit the ground running.
The role of connected vehicle technology
In addition to sending and receiving data to a central system, emergency vehicles of the future will seamlessly communicate with direct motorists in order to improve traffic safety.
When a fire truck can connect with drivers and let them know that they’re approaching, it will offer more time for motorists to respond and clear a safer path, both for them and the emergency vehicle. Today, most drivers only hear or see a fire truck in their rearview mirror when there’s little time for an effective response.
Inter-connectivity is the future
As the tools in the transportation grid become more intelligent, communication sharing among agencies will improve and ultimately benefit the entire community. Connectivity has already arrived, and with advancing technology and the speed of innovation, the future will be here before you know it.