In the past few years, automobiles have gotten a great deal smarter. They offer features such as internet connectivity, diagnostics via smartphones, and are even starting to enter the territory of self-driving vehicles. And as automotive technology gets smarter, it takes great strides toward becoming safer. Innovations like backup cameras, blind spot detection and forward collision systems (FCS) protect car owners while driving. On-board navigation systems often have a means of two-way communication with a control center, so that help can be sent quickly in the event of an accident. And some manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz, even use technology to help in situations where an accident has already occurred, helping medical staff get to drivers and passengers quickly to keep them better protected from injuries.
Mercedes-Benz currently uses QR codes on the body of their automobiles to help emergency technicians identify information about vehicles that may help them gain access to those inside the car in a quicker and safer fashion, using the Rescue Assist mobile app. It also offers rescue cards, which give information about each Mercedes-Benz model, to give emergency technicians a better understanding of the vehicle at a glance, and make them aware of vehicle-specific considerations that may need to be taken. The latest update to the app adds a feature that uses augmented reality, which overlays a digital image onto the display of a smart device's camera, to get an even better understanding of the best approach to be taken to assist those inside. The app will overlay color-coded visualizations of different parts of the vehicle onto the real-life image to help emergency technicians identify areas that may be unsafe to cut through, such as fuel lines or electrical components. This will help in situations that involve people being trapped inside the car, to further protect them from injuries caused by cutting into the car to remove them.
Improving the safety of rescue situations is an important aspect of increased car safety. While many of the other uses of technology in automobiles are intended to prevent accidents from happening, they will not be able to do this effectively in every situation. Mercedes-Benz has taken a big step towards reducing the risks of injury or death after a car accident, giving their customers the peace of mind to know that in situations where an accident is unavoidable, they will be attended to in a quick and safe manner.