Rescue services check vehicle data before using cutting equipment

QR codes deliver key crash data to rescue services

German car manufacturer Daimler is using QR codes to deliver essential information to emergency services after a road accident.

If a vehicle is seriously damaged, rescue workers may need to free the occupants. To do this safely, they need quick access to the model-specific rescue card containing construction details such as the location of airbags, battery and fuel tanks, so that cutting equipment can be used safely.

All manufacturers have rescue cards available for fitting on their vehicles, but Daimler says it is the first to offer direct access to the information by means of a QR code – the ubiquitous black-and-white square that, when scanned by a smartphone or tablet, takes the user directly to a predetermined Web address.

Code stickers are attached to the fuel filler flap and the B-pillar on the opposite side. These two areas offer easy external access and it is rare for both to suffer serious damage.

QR codes are being fitted as standard in all new Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars (both Daimler brands) and can be retrofitted through authorised service stations.

The rescue card is offered in multiple languages and will automatically display in the language of the user’s mobile device, if available. An app for the emergency services that will allow the information to be read even without an Internet connection is due by the end of June 2014.

Mercedes-Benz has waived its right to make a patent application, so that the technology will be available for everyone.

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