Mercedes-Benz will start adding QR codes to its cars in order to help make rescuing accident victims faster and safer.
The codes, which can be scanned by smartphones and tablets, will allow devices to display a 'rescue map' for every vehicle type.
Mercedes' new innovation makes use of the rescue sheets developed by ADAC – the German Automobile Assocation – and those rescue sheets already provided by automotive manufacturers.
The sheets reveal to police, firefighters and paramedics the design details they need in order to extricate a victim from a crashed vehicle quickly and safely.
For example, the rescue sheet shows the location of high-strength materials that could prove difficult to cut with rescue shears. It also informs rescuers about the location of airbags, batteries, energy recovery systems and electric cables.
In the case of hybrid or electric vehicles, it additionally displays the location of any additional batteries, high-voltage cables or electronic control systems.
All services have access to this information already, but where it may help is in accelerating the identification of the damaged vehicle. If the registration plate or model designations aren't visible, it could take time to work out what the vehicle is.
However, this idea from Mercedes-Benz offers a quick way to reliably identify the car in question. It will further reduce the chances of injury to rescuers by helping them to avoid cutting into pyrotechnic, high pressure or high-voltage devices.
All new Mercedes, built from this year onwards, will receive two QR code stickers, one in the fuel filler flap and one on the opposite B-pillar. The locations should ensure that one sticker remains undamaged, while both are easily accessible from outside.