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Emergency switch built into cars

Image credit: BeuGiles / flickr

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Feb 08, 2021
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Inspired by this tweet. Nowadays cars already do come equipped with an emergency switch. Below are a few upgrade suggestions.

Upon flicking the switch the following would happen:

  1. You would be asked to confirm this wasn't a mistake (wrongful use would be fined). If you confirm..
  2. 911 emergency would be called and put on speaker
  3. coordinates would be sent to the emergency services
  4. cameras around the car would start streaming into the cloud for the next few minutes (to catch a glimpse of a potentially violent crime)
  5. nearby cars in the vicinity of several hundred meters would briefly start streaming into the same cloud (to catch a glimpse of a fleeing assailant)
  6. With a 30 seconds of delay (so as not to mess with the video footage in low visibility situation) the car's lights would start blinking.
  7. people in nearby cars would be notified via the car speakers to watch out
With this feature the cars could be used to catch/discourage violent crime and help society come together to protect each other.

The emergency system could be powered by its own internal battery so that it doesn't get rendered inoperable if a car crash cuts off the car's power.

The system could send an emergency message to the Spacex's Starlink constellation that would automatically retransmit it to the local emergency services.
Creative contributions

Something similar is already commercial on motorbikes

RiccardOro Apr 11, 2021
I was on Milan trade fair, about three years ago, EICMA and there were already two or three emergency buttom for bikers, next to the accelarator, once pushed would send via blutooth an emergency SMS to the company service, inside the motorbike there was hidden a device with simcard, GPS sending a string of coordinates. The same system had a panic bottom.
I believe it would not be too difficult to implement in a car, having more room. To connect the alarm to lights, horn, phone, via mechanical switch is not a problem, you could also use a vocal "neutral" word to activate the alarm, the microphone.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Hi RiccardOro 🖖

Sounds cool. This tech is probably inevitable in the near future. Tesla cars likely have all the hardware in place. All that's needed is the software implementation. The emergency button would be on the touchscreen display or voice-controlled.
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RiccardOro3 years ago
Darko Savic well according to an European law, all new motorcycles should have this emergency bottom /switch in order to reduce rescue time for moto accidents; they send direct location and data. Insurance companies are interested in the deal. I did a research in loco and they were already selling the kits. We are considering moto above 500 cc., touring motorbikes.
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Leverage 5G could help

Aaron Barry
Aaron Barry Mar 29, 2021
Taking the switch idea one step further. If the car was enabled with 5G connectivity, the quality of the video streaming service and recording of live action would be excellent. 5G will bring latency down to 1ms from the current circa 200ms with 4G, the radio connection between transmitters also improves and makes remote control and driverless cars a real possibility soon. An emergency switch mechanism would provide a logical solution and many benefits if 5G can connect the car to the cloud with a super fast and super low latency data service.
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What are the advantages of a switch built into cars compared to a reporting app?

jnikola Mar 06, 2021
The emergency switch built into cars could be really useful when encountering violent crimes. The drawback is that if you are in front of the car, you first need to get into the car to report. The advantage is that the car gives you a certain type of protection against potential threats.

Trying to overcome the drawback, I ran into a Citizen app and 1st Incident Reporting
app. It's an app that gives you location-based notifications to help you avoid potentially dangerous situations, the ability to watch live videos of an incident, report incidents, follow your friends, etc. People say that the app used to give fast and reliable info on local events (before the news), but started to spread the fast news. This could be stopped if some local news channel integrates the "report event" option inside their app. That way a person can still report any event (crime) and it will be checked immediately by the app operators.

Considering the advantage of cars, if you want to stay protected after reporting a crime, you just enter the car.

What are the other advantages of an emergency switch built into cars compared to apps like Citizen?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
The switch would be useful for robbery scenarios where the driver is attacked while inside the car. If the driver is standing within the hearing distance of the car, the switch could be triggered by voice recognition and specific words, for example, "please please help"
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General comments

jnikola3 years ago
Really really cool idea! It could add that extra bravery when we encounter the violent act.

What if the button is pressed and nobody confirms, because the person has been shot or had a seizure? The solution could be the heart rate or other vital-sign measuring tool that automatically turns on after the button is pressed. That way, a sign of a health issue could be a confirmation of an emergency itself.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Juran K. in that case, there could be an override for the confirmation procedure. You could press the button repeatedly a few times (as a person in panic would). By the 4th click, confirmation would be assumed. On the other hand, that's exactly how kids would trigger it while playing with the buttons:)

On the first click, a scary voice should come on indicating that this is a serious feature. That could prevent the kids from playing with it
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
Juran The same health-monitoring app that will detect the medical emergency can then automatically inform the emergency services about the location of the car and car and driver details. An ambulance can soon reach the place. Also, people in the vicinity can be notified and they can provide first-aid. For more information regarding this, please visit https://brainstorming.com/an-app-that-notifies-the-active-neighbors-when-the-user-has-a-medical-problem/424

It would be cooler if the car could self-drive to the nearest hospital in such a case. It could also inform the hospital regarding the type of emergency and can send over the car details for the authorities to identify the car when it reaches the hospital.
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