Mercedes-Benz is working on a system that may help emergency workers quickly and safely rescue trapped occupants in wrecked vehicles. The system pairs rescue sheets that show firefighters, police and paramedics information on exactly how and where to use rescue sheers to extract trapped passengers, the location of major hydraulic lines, air bags and electrical cables as well as other important vehicle data with QR codes. Using two stickers with the codes prominently displayed, rescue workers can scan the code and instantly pull up the necessary information quickly with an internet connection. The plan could reduce rescue times and help save lives.

Currently, rescue workers have to rely on hard copy rescue sheets or must look up the information online, assuming the sheets are available at all. Mercedes-Benz has waived the right to patent the system in the hope that other automakers will take advantage of the technology. You can read the full press release below for more information.
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Speedy rescue of accident victims: A new Mercedes-Benz initiative: QR code that can save lives

Stuttgart, May 23, 2013

Stuttgart – When every second counts: with a small yet effective innovation, Mercedes-Benz wants to make the rescue of accident victims safer and swifter. In future a QR code, which can be read by smartphones and tablets, placed on Mercedes-Benz cars, will provide a rescue map for every vehicle type, which can be shown on the device's display. This chart contains all the information necessary to rescue any injured occupants speedily.

This Mercedes-Benz innovation makes use of the rescue sheets developed by the ADAC, the German Automobile Association, and which are already provided by all automakers for every one of their vehicle models. The sheets show firefighters, police and paramedics the design details they need to know in order to use the rescue shears effectively, for example. The rescue sheet, specific for each vehicle type, also informs about the location of the airbags, the battery, the tanks, electric cables, high-pressure cylinders and other components – in the case of hybrid models the location of the additional batteries and high-voltage cables, too. This information can save lives, because in an emergency every action counts and every second is precious.

However, in many cases rescue workers have to do their best without a rescue sheet, either because the driver neglected to carry one in the car, or because the rescuers cannot find it in the car. There are different proposals for the best location for the rescue sheet. Most favour the sun visor.

If there is no rescue sheet on board, then the rescue workers have to identify the accident vehicle with absolute certainty – something that does not always lead to the correct result in the presence of severe accident damage and missing model identification. In such cases only a telephone inquiry based on the number plate can help.

This Mercedes-Benz innovation, on the other hand, offers – in almost all cases – a swift and reliable way to a vehicle-specific correct security identity card – and can do this without requiring any action on the part of the driver. As from this year all new vehicles from Mercedes-Benz will be provided with two stickers with a so-called QR code. This square symbol with black and white sectors is often used by magazines, for instance, to direct readers via internet to a specific web page. Thanks to an app, QR codes can be read by every smartphone and every Tablet equipped with a camera.

The Mercedes-Benz QR codes identify the vehicle reliably, make fundamental information about the vehicle visible immediately and automatically direct to the website with the specific rescue sheet – generally a matter of only a few seconds. In order to make it easy to find the label with the potentially lifesaving QR code, Mercedes-Benz places one on the fuel tank flap and the other on the B-pillar on the opposite vehicle side. For it seldom occurs that both these parts are badly damaged at the same time in an accident, and they are furthermore easily accessible from the outside.
Further benefits of the innovative QR code solution from Mercedes-Benz:
Rescue workers do not need to identify the vehicle themselves and navigate through Internet pages for this.

Suitable for all vehicle types, both with conventional and with alternative drive systems.
The stickers with QR code can be easily retrofitted.

All automakers can continue to update their own rescue sheet links themselves and thus use the QR system to advantage, because Mercedes-Benz has waived the right to a patent registration in order to make the system available to everyone.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Matt.Shift_
      • 1 Year Ago
      Scenario 1 (Crumpled Car) Fireman: Okay, hold on! We're gunna get you out soon! *takes out iPhone from under gear* *scrolling through ignored messages and a screenful of apps* Fireman: Where the hell is that stupid QR reader app... OH MAN UPDATES? REALLY? Well, fine! *goes to update QR app* Fireman: Oh god, one friggin bar of service out here in the boonies of Canada/America? *throws phone*
        frostillicus80
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt.Shift_
        Great/funny (and probably realistic) scenario, my good man. Thanks for the chuckle.
        Israel Isassi
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt.Shift_
        who says it has to be a phone?
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Israel Isassi
          It would need a data connection to access the model-specific information -- on the other hand, it might make more sense for them to create an app pre-loaded with the info that doesn't need a data connection except to download/update for additional models.
          Matt.Shift_
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Israel Isassi
          it might not be a phone, but i really can't picture a fireman with an iPad on him/in his truck..
          EJR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Israel Isassi
          Wasp - there is such a program already. Moditech Crash Recovery System.
      Tony
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most firemen (myself included) have a smart phone on them and there are already extrication apps out there but you do have to go thru the pages to find the right car. Meanwhile you have bystanders thinking that the damn fireman was sending texts while the people were trapped in that car. I think Mercedes idea is great, get the specific details on where to cut and not cut specifically for that vehicle right away.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the kind of thing Volvo should be doing -- not much additional cost and the perception of safety-mindedness is improved.
      M5_4_life
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hope Apple doesn't get it's hands on this technology, they will modify it and sue everyone for using it.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      "rescue sheers"? Zach, what good are curtains going to do, when trying to extricate trapped motorists? /wah wah wah
      Basil Exposition
      • 1 Year Ago
      Finally a use for a QR code beyond cramming more advertising into people's heads.
      Porsche4life
      • 1 Year Ago
      Simple and smart Good job benz
      Pow Ying Hern
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good guy Mercedes, lets other companies to use QR code to save more lives
      Jon Sweeney
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a fantastic use of the technology. While it's easy to be snarky about the potential problems in this specific application I think it's more valuable to focus on the opportunities presented by this type of solution. We are working on similar answers in several industries and believe that there are a number of valuable reasons for manufacturers and service provides alike to consider this type of solution.
      contenunu
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rescue “sheets” vs. rescue “sheers”: At least one of those is simply wrong.
      EJR
      • 1 Year Ago
      For those not familiar with it, there is already a software program that is available for smart phones, iPads, and computers that shows the rescue-relevant information for every car ever manufactured with at least one airbag. It is called the Crash Recovery System. Information is available at www,rescuetechs.com/crs or www.moditech.com.
      Raniz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good idea, but it should be done with NFC tags instead of QR codes. QR codes have failed to catch on because you need to find that QR reading app and then focus your camera on the QR code. NFC tags just require you to hover your phone above it - much simpler.
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