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Mercedes QR codes could assist emergency services

Someone has finally figured out a use for QR Codes. Mercedes-Benz is set to add the black-and-white square barcodes to its vehicles in an effort to help emergency services get critical information that could help them save victims of car crashes.

QR codes could one day help save lives.
QR codes could one day help save lives.

QR codes, which can be scanned by mobile phones, provide a quick link to web pages that show how best to cut into each type of vehicle in order to extract passengers from mangled wrecks. Currently, if a vehicle is damaged beyond recognition, emergency workers have to call in its registration plate to obtain the necessary vehicle schematics.

“[it] 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,” the company said via a press release.

“This information can save lives, because in an emergency every action counts and every second is precious.”

Mercedes-Benz wants to stick one QR code onto the inside surface of each of its vehicles’ fuel tank flaps and another on the b-pillar separating the front and rear doors on the opposite side, since the likelihood of both areas being damaged in the same accident is statistically quite low.

The QR code system would work alongside another Mercedes-Benz innovation, eCall, which automatically dials the emergency services when sensors detect a crash. The system can provide information on the location of the accident and the type of vehicle involved even if the driver is unable to provide this information due to injury.

Mercedes-Benz has said it has waived the right to patent the QR code innovation so other manufacturers can use the technique free of charge.

The system can be fitted to new cars at the time of manufacture or retrofitted to existing cars. 

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