Google car clears the way for rescuers automatically

Autonomous driving: Meanwhile, the sensors of self-driving prototypes are capable of detecting emergency lights and make the car pull over.

Autonomous driving: The technology of the Google car registers when a police car approaches quickly from behind and instruct the car to pull over. Photo: Manfred Steib

“What was that again with the emergency lane?” Many drivers are overwhelmed when an emergency vehicle with blue light and its siren going approaches from behind. A lot of accidents happen because they don’t know how to react and how to get out of the way. The Google car is supposed to perform better.

Researchers in the U.S. are testing sensors that can distinguish sunlight from traffic lights and emergency lights. According to Google, the system recognizes when a police car comes from behind and makes the car pull over. Soon, the Google car shall also be able to recognize other emergency vehicles.

Google is working at full speed on the security of its self-driving cars. It has been reported by the company that the cars already are capable of detecting bicycles and of maintaining a sufficient safety distance. The manufacturers are hopeful that autonomous cars that are connected with each other and with the infrastructure will significantly reduce the accident rate.

Here are the rules how to form an emergency lane on motorways:

Emergency lanes should always be formed with foresight. When the traffic has already stopped or the emergency vehicle is directly behind you it’s too late. Don’t forget that it’s about life or death. Every second counts!

It depends on the number of traffic lanes, where the emergency lane has to be formed. Drivers on the right lane should manoeuver their car to the right-hand edge of the lane, those on the left lane drive to the left-hand edge of the lane. In case of three lanes, the emergency lane goes through the left and the middle traffic lane.

Read more: Five things self-driving cars still can’t do.

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