Faster and Safer Travel of Emergency Vehicles

Faster and Safer Travel of Emergency Vehicles

Business scenario

The solution aims to provide fast and safe cruising of emergency vehicles in urban areas with the support of specific technology services (namely green priority and emergency vehicle warning). The green priority service aims to change the traffic signal status in the path of an emergency (or high priority) vehicle to support halting conflicting traffic and allowing the vehicle right-of-way, thereby enhancing traffic safety. The appropriate level of the green priority can depend on vehicle characteristics, such as type (e.g., emergency vehicle) or status (e.g., public transport vehicle on-time or behind schedule). This service can be combined with the emergency vehicle warning to reduce the response times of the emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars.

The green priority request including the location, speed, direction, and identification information of the emergency vehicle can be published via on-board applications in the vehicle or on smart devices. Consequently, traffic light controllers can pick up this information and determine in what way they can and will respond the request. The same information can also be picked up by roadside units and other vehicles and cooperatively communicated to the traffic on the route of the emergency vehicle. This combination not only allows emergency vehicles to travel faster and safer but also allows other vehicles to react faster and in a safe manner.

Business model blueprint

In the business model blueprint depicted, the traffic manager (or service provider in case a public-private business model is instigated) offers increased priority for the emergency vehicles operated by the emergency vehicle operator. By making use of this increased priority, emergency vehicle operator provides quicker response times for the cases of emergency. To compensate for the increased operating costs as a result of service use, the emergency vehicle operator benefits from lessened driver stress in return. The technology infrastructure required for the services is installed and maintained by the software provider. In return for the operational costs related to its co-production activities, the software provider benefits from a software fee paid by the service provider / traffic manager. For the deployment and operation of the service, the service provider / traffic manager benefits from a service fee, which is paid by the municipality.

Other traffic users are given timely warnings regarding the emergency vehicle and expected to cooperate so that the potential traffic congestion on the downstream of the emergency vehicle is reduced. They benefit from a safer driving experience as hazardous scenarios are decreased. Furthermore, the city/municipality benefits from increased citizen safety, decreased number of accidents resulting during the response period of the emergency cases, and an improved image, which may justify offering financial support to participate in the business model.

Business model viability

As the service is offered for free to emergency vehicles, adoption of the service is stimulated. The primary financer of the service, the municipality, captures benefits in terms of increased road safety and decreased pollution. The viability of the business model design as a result depends largely on the deployment of green priority for busy roads to achieve the desired effects for the municipality. If green priority receives wide scale deployment for the main roads and traffic intensive intersections, the resulting benefits generated through service use are significantly large to outweigh the costs of implementation incurred for the municipality. These effects are expected to increase further if other road users actively engage for the service solution, providing on-time clearance to emergency vehicles once notified through the service application.