Loud music can be fun, loud music can be party and freedom especially with a fast sports car. We all turn way up the car hifi sometimes, when it plays our favorite song, and we all sometimes miss the ambulances sirens due to this. This is very dangerous of course, so the good Swedish started to look for a real 21st century solution. It turned out to be a really simple one. Ambulances in Stockholm are testing a KTH-made system (EVAM) that interrupts in-car audio with a voice warning when they’re close by and responding to a crisis. The car’s FM tuner must support the Radio Data System format though, which is common nowadays. The interruptions are speed-sensitive, too, so they arrive from greater distances when at higher vehicle speeds. The ambulance will be able to send warning messages to the cars tuner-screen, turn down music, or send a voice message about its approach.
A handful of ambulances will trial the system in the first quarter of the year. The results will be used to evaluate expansion, but one thing is clear: it could be a lifesaver if it clears the roads and gets patients to the hospital that much sooner. Unfortunately, Sweden is the only country with the plan, and some others will knowingly lack the resources the solution needs, like Norway.
Imagining the future roads loaded with autonomous vehicles, they may eliminate the need for legacy FM broadcasts, since autonomous traffic and its participants could be centrally commanded to maneuver. Or at least we think it could be. Paradigm shifts are unpredictable on their exact work and results, and we are facing the new one in transportation. The last shift was from horses to vehicles, and it happened a century ago.