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police vehicle Rzeszów, Source: City of Rzeszów

Rzeszów pilots a green wave technology for emergency vehicles

Rzeszów pilots a green wave technology for emergency vehicles

It is a first for Poland

A smart innovation now gives priority to emergency vehicles on the roads in Rzeszów. This was made possible due to the fact that an existing Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has been upgraded with new functionalities, to ensure faster and safer crossing of ambulances, fire brigade or police vehicles. With the successful tests of the upgrade, Rzeszów has become the first city in Poland to use such a system.

Building upon the technological innovations that work

The entire territory of Rzeszów has been covered by an Intelligent Transport System since 2015. This includes 66 intersections with traffic lights, over 40 message boards, weather stations and air pollution measurement stations, as well as CCTV camera systems, travel time, intelligent weighing and priority for public transport.

As of recently, the system has been improved with new functionalities, among which Sitraffic Stream, which grants priority to emergency vehicles, by automatically tracking them on the road and turning on the green light at each intersection.  The system uses GPS to determine the exact position of the vehicle equipped with a special onboard unit, sends the data to the traffic control centre and requests priority status.

The system returns to a normal mode of operation as soon as the emergency service vehicle has passed through the intersection and the entire process requires no physical roadside infrastructure - it happens automatically.

The innovation, implemented by Siemens Mobility, is expected to significantly facilitate the daily work of ambulance services, fire brigades and the police of Rzeszów. According to MSc. Tomasz Baran, Commander of the State Fire Service, quoted on the city website, “Thanks to this, the vehicle does not have to slow down before the intersection, it drives more safely, does not generate noise due to the lower operation of sirens and the green light on the entire route allows drivers to create a safe corridor for an oncoming emergency service vehicle.”

The priority for emergency vehicles is already successfully operating in Europe, incl. in over a dozen German cities and, for example, in the capital of Iceland. We are glad that it is also reaching Poland, and that Rzeszów is gaining a technology that will benefit all residents”, concluded Dariusz Obcowski, director of the ITS department at Siemens Mobility.

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