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Stellantis Vehicles Now Alert Drivers to Nearby Emergency Vehicles and Hazards
Stellantis, the parent company of Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram, has deployed a new feature that alerts drivers to nearby emergency vehicles and road hazards via their Uconnect infotainment system. After being suggested by a hearing-impaired employee who almost collided with an emergency vehicle, Stellantis added the Emergency Vehicle Alert System from HAAS Alert last year.
The Idea Behind the Notifications
The feature was thought of by a hearing-impaired Stellantis employee who suggested driver notifications to help avoid accidents with emergency vehicles. Stellantis then deployed the Emergency Vehicle Alert System from HAAS Alert that was rolled out last year.
Enhancing Safety with Software
Yves Bonnefont, chief software officer for Stellantis, says the alerts represent two goals the company wants to achieve through software: “continuously improving vehicles and using vehicles to create conveniences for customers.” Stellantis is pushing innovation through initiatives such as Star*Up, an internal competition for employees to present their ideas.
Testing and Implementation
The automaker first tried the warnings without sound, then added beeps to grab a driver’s attention based on customer feedback. Trpko Blazevski, Stellantis’ manager of global innovation and digital partnerships, said the architecture of the company’s vehicles allowed it to push the over-the-air update seamlessly.
How the Notifications Work
The warnings are triggered when an emergency vehicle has its lights or siren activated. Drivers won’t be alerted to a police vehicle simply parked on the side of the road. Fleet vehicles are notified through the HAAS Alert transponder device.
Expanding the Alerts
The company is looking to expand the alerts to include notifications for disabled vehicles using the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol feature. This feature provides motorists with 15 to 20 seconds of warning and can be programmed to flash hazard warning lights at a scientifically-tuned rate and pattern.
Evaluation of the Feature
The Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol feature is still in the testing phase. Stellantis will decide in three to six months whether to move forward with it, according to Mamatha Chamarthi, the company’s head of global software business management. Chamarthi says the feature is very promising because it can help motorists notice disabled vehicles in the dark.