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ZF has unveiled its new digital solution, Rescue Connect, which networks rescue forces with each other during operations and provides them with status information of 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,” said Florian Freund, responsible for ZF Rescue Connect development.

For his part, ZF Digital Venture Accelerator and Data Monetisation head, Gahl Berkooz, added: “Delivering a scalable digital solution based on our pan-European ‘Internet of Things’ cloud makes the ZF digital service valuable and affordable for widespread use.”

The digital solution is designed for manufacturers of emergency vehicles, rescue equipment and mission-specific software. Manufacturer-independent solutions can also be beneficial for organisations 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.

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The solution is based on a European cloud platform, which the technology group ZF operates with industry partners, such as MP-BOS GmbH and Eurocommand, for rescue organisations.

All data about accident victims, rescue forces deployed, vehicles and equipment, can be accessed by the operations centre via a ‘dashboard’. Small electronic transmitters and receivers connect 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 they are visible on a digital map during the operation. Accident victims each receive a ‘ZF LifeTAG’ from the first arriving rescuers until they are safely cared for. Emergency vehicles and important equipment­ are equipped with corresponding On-Board Units.

ZF offers 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 standardised communication interfaces.

The central ‘dashboard’ summarises information for the incident command in real time and facilitates informed decision-making according to the current situation.

Based on experience with digital telematics solutions for buses and commercial vehicles, ZF has developed the ZF Rescue Connect connectivity solution for a market in which it maintains 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 realisations to mature digital products and services.