In the past, sirens howled to warn the population against floods, large fires or chemical accidents. Today, however, there is no extensive warning system in Germany, as most sirens were dismantled after the Cold War. Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis INT in Euskirchen want the population to be warned by car horns in the future.
In January, researchers of the INT applied for a patent of a technology which allows the horns of parked cars to be activated in case of disaster.
The technology is based on the eCall emergency system, which new cars are going to be equipped with starting in September 2010.
The INT researchers found out that this infrastructure can also be used to warn the population. Once the cars are equipped with a radio receiver, their horns can be triggered in case of disaster. The receiver can be activated only by civil protection agencies. The new system is meant to complement rather than replace the other options.
© Flavia Westerwelle