Mercedes-Benz vehicles are to feature a QR code, to be scanned by emergency services using a smartphone or tablet, providing information on how to forcibly gain access to trapped and/or injured passengers.
The information, specific to each vehicle type, also provides information about the location of the airbags, the battery, fuel tanks, electric cables, high-pressure cylinders and other components – and in the case of hybrid models the location of the additional batteries and high-voltage cables. This information can save lives, because in an emergency every action counts and every second is precious.
The idea builds on an existing campaign by Adac - the German automobile club - to encourage drivers to keep an A4 sheet of paper containing a 'rescue map' inside their sun visor.
However, in many cases rescue workers have to do their best without a rescue sheet, either because the driver neglected to carry one in the car, or because the rescuers cannot find it in the car.
A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said: "This Mercedes-Benz innovation offers – in almost all cases – a swift and reliable way to a vehicle-specific correct security identity card – and can do this without requiring any action on the part of the driver.
"As from this year all new vehicles from Mercedes-Benz will be provided with two stickers with a so-called QR code. This black and white square symbol can be read by every smartphone and every tablet equipped with a camera."
In order to make it easy to find the label with the potentially lifesaving QR code, Mercedes-Benz will place one on the fuel tank flap and the other on the B-pillar on the opposite vehicle side.
Mercedes-Benz has waived the right to a patent registration in order to make the system available to everyone.