What Is Telematics and How Does It Affect Emergency Communications?

In public safety, telematics refers to electronics that provide fee-based location and communications services.

Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) refers to in-vehicle phones that dial a customer service center, provide voice connection and transmit certain vehicle data — airbag activation, speed and direction, distress signal, and location — as well as an onboard GPS receiver. It is linked to customer service centers that field calls, provide services themselves or transfer emergency calls to appropriate ECCs. It is also capable of receiving data back from the customer service center. Some of the issues that have arisen include reception, reliability, routing, handling and funding.

The Vehicular Emergency Data Set (VEDS) is an XML-based standard for reporting collision and medical data elements.

Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN)

Beyond notification of a vehicle’s airbag deployment and GPS location, AACN can collect in-vehicle crash sensor data. This provides better pre-arrival information to emergency responders about the potential severity of the crash and the likelihood of severe injuries.

Telematics service providers (TSPs) can also provide responders with a detailed vehicle description, emergency contacts provided by the vehicle owner, and whether crash sensors indicate the vehicle was involved in a rollover, which may influence what kinds of resources are dispatched to the scene.

AACN information was included in the 2012 federal guidelines for field triage of injured patients. These guidelines help responders identify the potential existence of severe internal injuries and make critical decisions about how and where a patient needs to be transported.

The AACN Joint APCO/NENA Data Standardization Workgroup was formed to specifically address the need for an open standard format to be used for all providers and consumers of vehicle telematics information. The VEDS is not a data transmission / protocol standard as several transport methods may exist to facilitate the transmission of the data. The working group was composed of APCO and NENA staff members, 9-1-1 practitioners, staff representing multiple TSPs and vehicle manufacturers, National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s Office of Medical Services, and several other leaders who work in the public safety field.

APCO Standard Covering Telematics Calls

The 9-1-1 Emerging Technologies Committee, composed of ECC personnel, commercial members and telematics service providers, combined their expertise and experience to create a standard to guide the interactions between telematics call center operators and ECC telecommunicators. The revision was approved by ANSI on Jan 29, 2017.

Best Practices for ECCs When Processing Vehicle Telematics Calls from Telematics Service Providers

Telematics data provides an opportunity for public safety agencies to dispatch more efficiently, based on crash notification elements and specific crash data. Law enforcement agencies, working in correlation with telematics call centers, are able to work together to assist in the location of missing people, recovery of stolen vehicles and vehicle slow down to stop vehicles involved in criminal activity. In emergency situations, effective communication between the telematics call center and the local ECC is critical.

VEDS Schema

The Vehicular Emergency Data Set (VEDS) provides critical data elements and the schema set needed to facilitate an efficient emergency response to vehicular emergency incidents. It uses XML and conforms to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) as a common data exchange format to provide a consistent method of data exchange. The intent is to establish a uniform set for the transmissions and collection of Advanced Automatic Collision Notification (AACN) data for telematics service providers and recipient agencies including emergency communications centers, emergency responders and medical facilities providing trauma level patient care.