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ZF digitalizes rescue forces with ZF Rescue Connect

First manufacturer-independent connectivity solution for widespread use by rescue forces

Seconds can be crucial in saving lives during the rescue operation after an accident. The better and faster the emergency management and rescue forces are informed about the accident victims and the status of all rescue vehicles and equipment involved, the more effectively they can help.

The new digital solution ZF Rescue Connect networks rescue forces with each other during their operations and provides them with all important status information of the deployed vehicles and equipment in real time. “With ZF Rescue Connect, we are offering the first comprehensive, manufacturer-independent connectivity solution for rescue forces in Europe,” explains Florian Freund, responsible for the ZF Rescue Connect development. “Delivering a scalable digital solution based on our pan-European ‘Internet of Things’ cloud makes the ZF digital service so valuable and affordable for widespread use,” says Dr. Gahl Berkooz, Head of the ZF Digital Venture Accelerator and Data Monetization.

The digital solution is specially designed for manufacturers of emergency vehicles, rescue equipment and mission-specific software. Manufacturer-independent solutions can also be beneficial for organizations with security tasks as well as for state and federal authorities. ZF Rescue Connect supports emergency services and decision-makers alike in dealing with everyday tasks as well as major incidents, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating and focusing response.

Manufacturer-independent cloud solution

The solution is based a European cloud platform, which the technology group ZF operates together with other well-known industry partners, such as MP-BOS GmbH and Eurocommand GmbH, for the rescue organizations. Here, all data about accident victims, the rescue forces deployed, the rescue vehicles and the rescue equipment converge can be accessed by the operations center via a ‘dashboard’. Small electronic transmitters and receivers connect the people, vehicles and equipment to the cloud via mobile network communications.

Rescue workers involved in the operation carry their personal ‘ZF CrewTAG’ with them so that they are visible on a digital map during the entire operation. The accident victims each receive a ‘ZF LifeTAG’ from the first arriving rescuers until they are safely cared for. The emergency vehicles and important equipment are equipped with corresponding On-Board Units. ZF offers the transmitters and receivers either as original equipment for vehicles and rescue equipment or as a manufacturer-independent retrofit solution. Solutions from other suppliers can also be integrated into the cloud via standardized communication interfaces. The central ‘dashboard’ clearly summarizes the information for the incident command in real time and facilitates informed decision-making according to the current situation.

Established technologies for new markets

Based on years of experience with digital telematics solutions for buses and commercial vehicles, ZF has developed the ZF Rescue Connect connectivity solution for a market in which no comprehensive, manufacturer-independent and affordable connectivity solution has been available to date. The solution was developed in the ZF Data Venture Accelerator, which is a worldwide hub for digital business within ZF’s Corporate Research and Development department. It was set up to support and accelerate product developments whose ideas and concepts have successfully proven their added value and technological feasibility – from initial realizations to mature digital products and services.


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