Ludwigsburg, Germany Uses Wireless V2X Technology to Support First Responders

The city of Ludwigsburg in Germany is using wireless vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology to enable first-responders to get to accidents and emergencies faster.

The system – led by traffic technology group, Swarco – has all traffic lights and intersections in Ludwigsburg fitted with Cohda MK5 road-side units which exchange information directly with the equivalent units in fire trucks and rescue vehicles – granting them green-light passage when required.

The traffic lights are equipped with a program which sends messages relaying position and speed – several times per second – from emergency vehicles to a traffic light controller. The signals are then processed and compared with the scenarios stored in the programming. If the system detects an approaching emergency vehicle, the programmed signal sequence is started and the traffic light controller switches to the prioritization program. Once the emergency vehicle has passed the intersection, the traffic light controller switches back to normal to minimize the impact on road traffic.

 “A primary goal of our mobility concept is to optimize the traffic flow. To achieve this, we also rely on intelligent traffic light systems,” said city mayor, Dr. Matthias Knecht. “Swarco’s technology for prioritizing emergency vehicles of the fire brigade is an excellent example for this because in an emergency every second counts, of course.”

V2X technology has also been used in other similar ways to make roads safer. In Estonia and Finland, Cohda’s V2X hardware and software is installed in a smart pedestrian crosswalk solution which alerts pedestrians and other road-users to danger. In Norway, Cohda’s vehicle positioning system contributed to a successful trial carried out in the Bjørnegård tunnel to improve vehicle safety.

“In this instance, it is being applied to support emergency services in responding to incidents and accidents that have already happened, thereby also saving lives,” said Dr Paul Gray, CEO, Cohda Wireless. “Ludwigsburg is setting an example that cities around the world can follow.”