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Mercedes-Benz puts safety info into QR code: Video

Emergency services can now access critical info with a quick scan


October 31, 2014
by Fleet Management Staff

TORONTO, Ontario—Mercedes-Benz is making safety information about its vehicles immediately available to first responders via QR code.

When an accident occurs and the vehicle is seriously damaged, the priority for the rescue services is to free the occupants. This can be extremely dangerous for both occupants and first responders since the vehicle is equipped with many potentially hazardous components such as high voltage wiring, fuel lines as well as airbags and SRS pyrotechnics, all of which can be compromised depending on the severity of the impact.

While Mercedes-Benz information has been available to rescue teams for decades, it was traditionally provided in a printed format or downloadable as a pdf document. Today, it can be accessed by scanning a QR code with a smartphone, providing immediate access to a detailed rescue card which contains all of the structural details specific to a vehicle model, such as the location of airbags, battery, high strength steel (HSLA) and fuel tank, to name a few, so that rescue equipment can be used as safely and as effectively as possible to save lives.

Last year, Daimler announced that it would offer direct access to vehicle-specific rescue cards by means of a QR code – a world first. The QR code has been fitted as standard equipment in all new Mercedes-Benz cars since the end of 2013, Mercedes-Benz vans since August 2014 and smart vehicles since January 2014.

This benefit is not only limited to the owners of new vehicles. The QR code stickers can be installed free of charge, by an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealership, in all Mercedes-Benz and smart pre-owned vehicles manufactured from 1990 onwards (1996 in the case of Mercedes-Benz vans).

“As part of our unwavering commitment to safety, we have embarked on a country-wide campaign to encourage owners to take advantage of this potentially life-saving technology, which helps eliminate any guesswork in the event of an accident,” said Roland Martin, Vice President, Service and Parts. “In addition, we are actively reaching out to first responders to generate awareness for this tool that was developed with them in mind, by making Mercedes-Benz vehicles’ structural information immediately accessible when every minute counts.”

The black-and-white scannable symbol is widely used in advertising, on packaging and even on business cards. It is comprised of a string of characters that enables a quick response (hence QR) and redirects the user to a predetermined web address. When the code is scanned with a smartphone or tablet, with an existing internet connection, the rescue card can be quickly accessed to provide safety-relevant vehicle information.

The rescue card is currently available in 23 languages and will display in the default language of the end user’s mobile device. In addition, an App that does not require an Internet connection is now available to emergency services. Mercedes-Benz has waived its patent rights to ensure that this technology is readily available to everyone.