Swedish emergency vehicles now have the power to stop loud music playing in nearby cars so their sirens can be heard. The new alert system, created by 23-year-old students at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, uses a radio signal to override music and send a voice override — or text in the radio display if music isn’t on — alerting drivers to an approaching ambulance or fire truck.
The Evam System's RDS technology (used to show digital information such as the radio station or song title) is being tested in a limited number of vehicles in Stockholm, according to reports on Jan. 17. The hope is to expand across the country later this year.
"Drivers often have only a few seconds to react and give way to emergency vehicles," said Mikael Erneberg, co-founder of Evam Systems and an industrial engineering student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, who added the optimal warning time for a driver is at least 10 to 15 seconds. This technology addresses that — and warns drivers about accidents in the road ahead. "It fulfills three functions: improving accessibility for first responders, improving road safety and making the working environment in transport better for vulnerable professions," said Erneberg.