Ford of Europe has teamed up with telecommunications carrier Vodafone on a connected car technology project that should help motorists and emergency services vehicles on the road.
The system helps to warn drivers of any accidents ahead and shows how to get out of the way of emergency vehicles to avoid being an obstruction.
"The system is designed to create an 'emergency corridor' along which fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles can reach their destinations more quickly; and is being trialled as part of Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf – a €15 million ($24.35m) project for the practical testing of new connected car technologies and automated driving," the company said in its press release.
Ford says this technology would build upon the eCall function available on several models – including the new Focus – that automatically calls emergency services when the vehicle has been involved in an accident.
Using mobile phone networks or embedded modems, vehicles could offer an 'eCall Plus' service that informs drivers of accidents up to 500m ahead, with emergency services personnel also able to issue a warning using in-car displays to show the correct "emergency corridor" motorists should create to allow the ambulance, fire engine or police vehicle a clear passage.
"Connected and automated driving are key technologies of the future. Ford has a long history of developing and testing vehicle to traffic infrastructure and vehicle to vehicle communications that can contribute to greater road safety and efficiency across the world," said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford of Germany CEO.
"Together with Vodafone and in cooperation with the other companies involved, we will gain decisive insights on the Düsseldorf testing grounds to further advance the networking of vehicles."
Ford quotes a German study that found survival rates for road accident victims can be improved by as much as 40 per cent if they receive minutes four minutes more quickly.