Studies have long battled over whether or not loud music negatively impacts driving, and there is plenty of research to support both sides of the argument. However, when it comes to hearing and reacting to emergency vehicles nearby, that’s all about to change.
An experiment in Stockholm, Sweden is outfitting ambulances with a system that interrupts in-car audio when the emergency vehicle is in proximity. The interruption is similar to emergency weather updates or other crisis, and all that is required is receiving cars to be equipped to support the Radio Data System format, which encompasses nearly all of today’s vehicles.
The interruption system also operates according to speed, which gives advanced notice to vehicles traveling at higher speeds, taking into account highways. Only a small number of ambulances will be field-testing the new system in the early part of this year, though the technology’s effectiveness remains to be seen. If it works, those precious seconds saved by having traffic