You know the drill: you hear sirens in the distance, strive to figure out which direction it’s coming from and when the flashing lights of the emergency vehicle come into view, you pull over. But in high-traffic areas, this can be a challenge and clearing an adequate path for the firetruck or ambulance to pass through can take a while, wasting valuable time.

That’s why a creative agency teamed up with the Radio Association of Ecuador to demonstrate a system that would allow emergency vehicles to take over nearby radio signals, alerting drivers of oncoming emergency vehicles before they’re even seen or heard.

radio ambulance

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

The advertising agency Maruri Grey in Ecuador was commissioned by Hospital Guayaquil to create such a system because its ambulances were getting stuck in traffic of the country’s most populated city.

“The traffic in the city of Guayaquil not only affects the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants. It can even take someone’s life,” a YouTube video by the agency demonstrating the project stated.

The system dubbed “Radio Ambulance” involved installing software in all ambulances that would connect them with AM/FM radios.

radio ambulance

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

In the demonstration, activating the system would play a message through nearby cars’ radios, saying something like “Ambulance is approaching. Clear the middle lane.”

Watch how it works:

The Radio Ambulance allowed broadcasts to go out over a range of one kilometer. With the program, they found ambulance response time was reduced by up to 40 percent.

“The Radio Ambulance, when interrupting radio saves lives,” the demo stated.

The system won a bronze award recently at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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