This is briefly what was the story of the project and what we did. There are two modules in the project:
- simple education message that we want to spread
- communication part between ambulances and regular cars as well as panel to track routes of ambulances.
There are also two members of this project with two perspectives we would like to show in the descriptions below. Kindly please read descriptions as it tells more information than the video !
Note from Sunsil Tanej (individual project member):
I am optimistic about new technologies. I believe they have potential to decrease the time it takes for an accident victim to get to treatment center. Nowadays we're fortunate to have smart navigation technologies that can monitor traffic jams and try to optimize routes but I strongly believe that it is equally important to change people at the same time.
The sad truth is that a lot of drivers in India are simply ignoring ambulances on the way and do not have habit to move aside and give way to emergency vehicle. And I am not talking about rare cases here, you can observe this kind of situations in everyday life. What is even more extreme situation is that some drivers park in front of the ambulances making it impossible for them to start. This is happening less often but it is also a problem.
I think raising awareness and changing behaviors patterns are absolute priorities for the moment in our country that's why the first think we did in the app is educational part. As you can see on the example screen below, graphical board have been prepared to illustrate fundamental behavior pattern we want to spread among all drivers in India: "pull to the side or turn if possible when approached by ambulance from behind". We want to create all communication around leading slogan "Act like a pro-driver".
We believe that this communication at the beginning should be very short and simple. We just want't to communicate absolute principles. But on the top of that we built quite advanced alert system that will be covered in the next part of this description.
Note from Tomasz Florczak (LogToMobile):
First we wanted to fully understand local context as the goal was to come up with the solution that realistically could improve arrival time of ambulances. We identified one problem when technology can help significantly. Hearing the siren you might not know from what direction is it coming and if you are going to be on the way. With our app you have more information and you can prepare to make right maneuver.
There are two application modes - for ambulances and for regular cars.
App for regular cars has educational part and has capacity to receive alerts. With this app you are informed about ambulances that are going to come your way. Just turn on your phone GPS or connect it to your car with OpenXC interface and stay tuned for alerts. If there's ambulance nearby and your are on its way than you're going to be alerted. You should not be alerted if ambulance is simply expected to cross your current route. Actually the may part of our programming work was to develop and test algorithm that alerts you only in the right situations, so you need both to be on the way of incoming ambulance, be relatively close to it and keep it like this for few moments. You may quite app and service will be still working informing you about ambulance position changes. You will get 2 voice alerts (when ambulance is around 2 km and 1 km from you) and you will be able to constantly see its position on the map. If alerts are generated then they are kept all the time on the screen along with the map to have a quick look from where the ambulance is coming.
In ambulance app you simply choose your destination and route is being registered on the server. From this point you may also start external Google navigation and our app will continue working as a service reporting your route position constantly. Server will continuously monitor if there are any cars close to you that are located ahead of your planned route. In that case they will be alerted so that they will be prepared to make right maneuver when approached. Once ambulance will reach position of car or pass it, this car should no longer receive alerts.
Once you give a name to the ambulance in the smartphone ambulance app (you can do it by tapping at the top right setting icon) it is started to be tracked and its position is being reported to the server. Once ambulance will start intervention by putting destination address you can see it's position in "current interventions" section.
In the web panel you can see all ongoing and completed routes of ambulance with all the details. You see all ambulances, you can browse current ambulance interventions and finally you can browse finished interventions. With each of these you have information about whole route, times and average ambulance speed at different fragments of the route. Analysing that data can be helpful in identifying bottlenecks and make better decisions.
Usage of OpenXC API:
When available apps use OpenXC library to determine car GPS position. This way battery life can be saved in mobile device and possibly better precision can be achieved. When OpenXC is not available GPS position from phone is read. Please note that GPS has to be activated in order for app to work properly. We have not proper Ford car at our disposal to test OpenXC interface but test on emulator have been accomplished.
Have any questions or remarks ? Please feel free to write us a comment and we'll be happy to discuss it with you.