C-ITS: More safety for emergency vehicles

The blue light and siren are getting a boost: the province of Salzburg and Salzburg Research are testing C-ITS technology with the Red Cross for the first time on federal and provincial roads to further increase the safety of emergency services and road users.

The faster an emergency vehicle reaches its destination, the higher the chances of survival for injured or sick people. That’s why blue lights and sirens are getting support: vehicles can use C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) to inform each other about traffic and hazardous situations.

C-ITS messages, which are displayed directly in the cockpit of vehicles in the vicinity of an emergency vehicle with activated blue lights, increase the safety of all road users and shorten the time it takes for the emergency vehicle to arrive at the scene. In this way, road users can be informed of an approaching or stationary emergency vehicle with blue lights before it can be seen or heard.

C-ITS message about an approaching emergency vehicle in the cockpit © Salzburg Research

For communication between vehicles to work, both vehicles must be able to send and receive C-ITS messages. Some manufacturers already install this as standard, other manufacturers will follow. Emergency vehicles currently still need an additional device that is coupled with the blue light.

C-ITS: Fahrzeug zu Fahrzeug, Infrastruktur zu Fahrzeug

C-ITS can do even more: in recent months, 24 locations on the provincial and federal road network in the city and province of Salzburg have been equipped with C-ITS roadside units. They are networked via a C-ITS control centre and can communicate with vehicles securely and without delay via the ITS-G5 standard and the specially protected 5.9 GHz ITS band. This means that road users can be informed quickly and easily on site, for example about lane closures, complete closures or available parking spaces.

Urban C-ITS Contest: Salzburg is a pioneer

An international award recognises Salzburg’s pioneering role in the implementation of C-ITS technology: Urban C-ITS Contest: Salzburg is forerunner

C-ITS: Improving road safety with co-operative transport services

C-ITS stands for co-operative intelligent transport systems. These systems make a significant contribution to making the entire transport system safer, more efficient and more sustainable. The infrastructure is networked with the vehicles and safety-critical standardised messages are exchanged precisely and reliably. In addition to a wide range of applications on motorways, C-ITS services also transmit information about traffic disruptions, accidents or roadworks in real time to the affected road users in rural and urban areas, for example. Emergency vehicles or public transport can navigate more efficiently and safely through the city by prioritising traffic lights.

C-ROADS Austria: Salzburg’s C-ITS pilot

The European C-ROADS platform has been coordinating the harmonised implementation throughout Europe since 2016. Salzburg Research is coordinating the Salzburg C-ITS pilot operation on behalf of the province of Salzburg. The main objective of the Salzburg C-ITS pilot project is to transmit traffic information, such as traffic incidents, strategic routes, traffic light conditions and parking information to C-ITS-enabled vehicles. In addition, the prioritisation of public transport and emergency vehicles at traffic lights and the communication of emergency vehicles with other road users is being tested. A special feature of the Salzburg C-ITS pilot project is that the C-ITS functionality is used as an independent system that is connected to the existing traffic management centre and ITS via standardised protocols. The research institute supports the procurement of the road and vehicle infrastructure, develops and operates the C-ITS centre for the province of Salzburg and tests and evaluates the use cases.

The use case with blue light vehicles is supported by the Salzburg Red Cross, while the hardware and software for the OnBoard Units come from the Hamburg-based company consider it. Salzburg Research is working on further use cases, for example with gritting and clearing vehicles of the provincial road administration.

C-ROADS Austria projects are funded by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Commission.

More information:

Cover picture: C-ITS technology in emergency vehicles complements blue lights and sirens and will ensure greater safety for all road users in future. Successful pilot operation in Salzburg: (from left to right) Helmut Steinkogler, fleet manager of the Salzburg Red Cross, Sven Leitinger, Salzburg Research, Johanna Moser, Voluntary Social Year, Stefan Schnöll, Transport Minister of the State of Salzburg. © Red Cross Salzburg

Contact person

Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
T: +43/662/2288-282 | M: +43/664/814 2016
How to find us
Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft
Jakob Haringer Straße 5/3
5020 Salzburg, Austria