Aiming to improve the emergency services

Aiming to improve the emergency services

December 4, 2017

Prototypes for the smart road technology of tomorrow may be tested out on North Norwegian roads. Norut wants to provide the emergency services with a better understanding of situations before they arrive.

Text: Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

How many cars are stuck inside the avalanche? How much damage has the car which collided with the moose sustained? Rapid and accurate information about road accidents will make the job easier for the emergency services, especially if they get a good understanding of the accident before they arrive at the scene.

“The first person to report from an accident site generally has little basis on which to assess the situation, but they always have one or more mobile devices with them. It’s possible to use these devices for more than phone calls to emergency services, including visualisations and models of the area. This enables us to ensure that those attending the accident are well prepared and bring the necessary equipment.”

So says Norut Senior Research Scientist Njål Borch. Norut’s vision is to use the technology the Norwegian Public Roads Administration is establishing on the E8 highway in the Skibotn valley to develop a service that provides the Police, ambulance and other emergency services with a better understanding of the situation while they are driving to the accident scene.

Digital think tank

Norut’s vision is one of the 12 proposals in the R & D component of the Borealis project. This sub-project started with a digital think tank in May. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration invited system developers and technology providers to an event in Tromsø, and challenged them to come up with ways of using the data collected from the sensors along the E8 highway in the years ahead.

“Many want to contribute to the goal of safer, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly transport. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has open data, and an important aspect of the technology project Borealis is to contribute innovation to the transport sector,” says Senior Principal Engineer Torgeir Vaa from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Funding for development

Following the introductory meeting in May, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration sent out an invitation to create the road technology of tomorrow. A total of 35 concepts were submitted, 12 of which were selected to progress to the next stage. Each of these suppliers have received funding of NOK 100,000 to develop the concept into a specific idea which in time may become a prototype that can be tested out in the Skibotn valley.

“When these suppliers are finished with the next phase, they will submit an idea that is so specific and detailed that we can determine whether we can test and use it as part of the Borealis project,” says Torgeir Vaa.