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February 20, 2017

What Happens When First Responders and City Agencies are on the Grid?

With all the congestion on our roads today, motorists worry mostly about one thing; getting to where they are going as quickly as humanly possible. Thus majority of driving products, applications, in-dash apps, IoT driving devices, etc. have focused solely on that particular aspect of driving—shave 10 seconds here, 30 seconds there. But rarely do we hear about people wishing they were on the safest route as opposed to the fastest.

When we think about first responders and other vehicles such as utility and telecom, that impair traffic flow, safety is their number one priority. Speed is of course important when it comes to first response, but when even a minor accident involving a first responder occurs, it means that vehicle is now officially “out of service” and in most states is required by law to stop and fill a report. Unfortunately, this happens to first responders over 60,000 times a year in the U.S. alone. That means 1 out of every 10 emergency services vehicles on the road will incur an accident at least once in a year. That’s a lot of lights and sirens not getting to destinations.

In fact, Police Officers and Firefighters have a higher rate of injury and death in traffic related accidents than they do at scenes of incidents—This is unacceptable. The effort to derive real-time information to provide safety pre-emption to other motorists on the road has gone ignored. And here’s why:

It's not a technical problem. It's a data problem.

If the problem was merely technical, it would have been solved by now. Tesla will be sending personal flights to space, cars can drive themselves entirely, we can stream movies on demand from the subway, but we can't send an alert to a driver when an emergency vehicle is approaching?

Some municipalities possess the necessary data (fewer than 1%), but it's the car manufacturers, navigation apps, traffic suppliers and smart city grids that truly require the data in order for it to be effective—there currently is no bridge.

HAAS Alert connects city agencies with motorists by creating real-time data and delivering directly to OEMs, map, traffic and navigation data providers for maximum distribution of the live data streams. Other agencies, applications and vehicles alike, looking to share data, will distribute via the HAAS Alert Safety Cloud™, and will now have a pipeline in to the vehicle.

HAAS Alert products and solutions utilize existing infrastructure and low cost methods to support data acquisition. And collection and distribution continues to broaden on both ends. Car manufacturers, tier one suppliers, navigation companies, smart city providers and others are all starting to ingest data from HAAS Alert's Safety Cloud.

Motorists and vehicles should be aware when emergency responders are approaching. After all, idle time and driver distraction continues to soar. For that matter, people should also know where construction and utility workers are present in the roads, as well as other city agencies that impact traffic flow. Frankly, we owe it to our first responders and city partners to help them meet the growing transportation demands of our cities.

We take it even further. HAAS Alert sends data back to cities for smart city grid infrastructure. What if lights and sirens transcended into digital lights and sirens? Can we influence not only driver behavior, but public behavior as well? What if we could adjust the signal phase and timing of traffic lights with live data coming from city fleets? What if we could re-route traffic around hazards and incidents entirely? Well… we can.

With data.


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