WASHINGTON (AP) - Automakers must seek and follow the advice of
doctors and emergency rescue workers in designing cars with
high-tech equipment intended to save lives in crashes, an advocacy
Those working in emergency medical services "must be involved
long before technology is introduced," said Dr. Jackson Allison,
chairman of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America's
medical subcommittee, which wrote the report being released Monday.
General Motors Corp. and ATX Technology Inc. have developed
automatic collision notification systems, or "Mayday" systems,
that determine within seconds the severity of a crash and
automatically call for help.
Beginning in some GM vehicles next year, the information will be
sent to an operator for the OnStar in-vehicle communications system
through a handsfree cellular phone connection. The operator can
talk to crash victims in the vehicle and conference in 911
dispatchers with all the information needed to send emergency
The system, which has 2 million subscribers, already alerts
OnStar operators when air bags deploy. The improvements will notify
operators about accidents that do not trigger air bags and send
more information about every crash.
High-end cars made by Mercedes, Lexis and Ford, for example,
also offer Mayday systems, Allison said. He'd like to see all cars
equipped with them someday so people at every income level can
benefit from them.
"There's a lot of technology in the car, and if it were
appropriately passed on to EMS responders, they'd know what to
do," said M.J. Fingland, spokeswoman for the National Highway
Transportation Safety Board. "If they knew it was a car going 50
mph that crashed they'd know what kind of injuries to prepare
The report cautioned that emergency responses would be delayed
if dispatchers were overloaded with too much information or if the
information was not relayed on 911 or other priority communication
More time should not be required for dispatchers to process
Mayday system calls than for an average call, the report said, and
dispatchers should not have to go out of their way to read the data
by looking up a Web site.
The report recommends guidelines to protect patients' privacy
when medical data is transmitted.
The society was created by Congress in 1991 to coordinate
development and usage of vehicle emergency systems such as Mayday.
Its members are roughly half from private industries and half from
universities, government and associations.
The report, to be presented at the annual conference of the
American College of Physicians in Seattle, recommended adopting
other technologies that can save lives in emergencies.
One priority should be to implement wireless location technology
so 911 can locate callers using cell phones.
More than half the 911 callers in cities cannot be located
automatically because they come from cell phones. Nationally, 27
percent cannot be located.
In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission set deadlines for
implementing a 911 system that could locate cell phone callers.
Compliance across the country has been slow.
On the Net: Intelligent Transportation Society of America,
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press.
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Thread: "MAYDAY" systems discussed
10-07-2002, 03:26 AM #1
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10-07-2002, 02:05 PM #2
A Posting From Forum Moderator Ron Moore
These vehicle 'telematics' systems do work. In Plano, we have had several successful notifications through these remote operators. In the case of a Mercedes crash, the operator in New Jersey not only called our 911 (about 1,800 miles away) but pinpointed the vehicle crash to within about 30 feet.
When our medic unit arrived to find the vehicle empty, the telematics operator was still online through the hands-free speaker phone. When we opened the door of the car, she told the medics that at the time she connected to this vehicle, she heard two different adult male voices. Sure enough, we discovered the occupants about 50 feet away.
It's not just for the crashed vehicle either. We had a call where an Expedition came upon a crash and didn't know where they were. They manually activated their telematics system and the telematics operator called it in and gave us the correct location.Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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