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Qatar Motorists to Receive Radio Alerts from Ambulances

A new technology will help ambulances reach their destinations faster.

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Qatar is implementing a new radio-based system for alerting motorists of approaching ambulances. Warning messages will be broadcast by the ambulance, and any driver tuned to an FM station within 200 meters will receive the message. This is what the warning message sounds like. Australian makers Emergency Warning Systems (EWSP) say that the technology, which they’re calling Radiolert Mobile FM80, will help give drivers more time to move out of the way. Sirens and lights are comparitively ineffective, only really being noticible from within 50m. At that distance, a driver will only have seconds to respond, leading to potential accidents.

Four ambulances in Doha, the capital city, are testing out the system starting this week, says Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC). The trial will run for two months, and if they shorten response times and improve safety for the ambulances, the system will later be rolled out across the country. The technology has already been implemented in Indonesia.

The vehicles will be fitted with a small box outfitted with six buttons. Each button relays a different recorded message. When the button is pressed, every car listening to FM radio within 200m will hear the message. In Qatar, the message will be “Warning, ambulance approaching. Give way.” It will be broadcast in Arabic, English, Hindi or Malayalam, depending on the language of the radio station the driver was listening to.

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Qatar’s ambulance service has 160 ambulances, 20 rapid response vehicles, and three helicopters, and last year responded to 92% of emergency calls within 10 minutes. With increasingly congested traffic though, the service is always looking for new technology to help them. Radiolert Mobile isn’t the first gadgetry being installed in their ambulances: In 2014 and 2015, sensors were added to traffic lights at key intersections. The ambulances are able to communicate with these sensors from up to one kilometer away and switch the lights in their favor.

source: Doha News

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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