September 4, 2002

Ford’s automatic crash notification notifies 911 operators in less than sixty seconds

Houston, Texas – Ford Motor Company reports that critical safety information from crashed vehicles can now be delivered automatically to 9-1-1 operators in less than sixty seconds from the moment of impact, equipping EMS personnel to provide a more informed and possibly quicker response. Today crashes are reported to authorities an average of 5.2 minutes after the impact. By reducing the time in which authorities are notified to one minute, approximately 3,000 additional lives per year can be saved, resulting in almost a 10% reduction in fatalities, says the company.

Real-world tests on Ford Motor Company’s pilot fleet of police vehicles in suburban Houston have confirmed that Ford’s Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) technology can speed vital details of a crash to operators, including whether the air bags were deployed, which seats throughout the vehicle are occupied and if the occupants were wearing seat belts. Sensors and global positioning satellites determine vehicle orientation and location.

When a crash occurs, this valuable information is automatically sent to the Ford telematics response center operated by Cross Country Automotive Services. The telematics response center, in turn, electronically transmits the data to the appropriate public safety answering point and establishes a voice link between the vehicle and the operators. The data is also received on a screen at the 9-1-1 call center, to inform operators of the situation whether the driver can respond verbally or not.

The ACN system, developed by Veridian, is activated by extreme changes in g-forces on the vehicle in three directions. Sensors measure deceleration and direction such as front, rear or side which are important factors in determining injuries.

This enhanced telematics technology was installed into 500 police sedans in 23 cities in the suburban Houston area this summer for a two-year pilot in partnership with Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network. The information is routed to 9-1-1 operators with the help of Intrado, a leader in delivering public safety data.

In a crash, thirty percent of deaths occur within minutes of the crash; fifty percent occur before the patient arrives at the hospital; and fully seventy percent of deaths occur within two hours of the crash.

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