Ambulance receives assistance during demo of SZE’s forerunner drone

The essence of the forerunner drone development being carried out with the collaboration of Széchenyi István University, is to accompany an emergency vehicle  in the air and warn the driver of dangers that cannot be seen from the driver's cab in time, thus making it safer for the ambulance, fire brigade or police car to arrive at the scene. The development was unveiled on the occasion of the Safety Week at the ZalaZONE automotive test track in Zalaegerszeg.

In connection with Safety Week, researchers from Széchenyi István University in Győr and the Computer Science and Automation Research Institute in Budapest were given the opportunity to present their forerunner development to the public, accompanied by an actual ambulance, with the assistance of the National Ambulance Service.


Presentation Participants


To the best of the researchers’ knowledge, the aim of this unique development is to have a drone with a camera accompanying a moving emergency unit (ambulance, fire brigade, police car) in the air, preferably in front of the unit. This will give the driver advance visibility of areas hidden from the driver and warn him of any danger. In this way, tragedies such as the one in Csepel in May can be prevented.

The test and demonstration, supported by the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies, in an urban environment (ZalaZONE automotive test track, Smart City module) showed that the vehicle, hidden by the walls of the building, can be detected by the drone in front of the ambulance and thus avoid a collision. This proves the main research question - the feasibility of the idea. Photos of the test can be viewed on the link below and the film is also available on the Safety Week thematic channel.

It is important to note that the experimental drone used (DJI M600) can only be used for urban tests at low speeds due to its limited speed, while higher speed manoeuvres are tested in simulations. In addition to technical issues, the future application of the system will also require the resolution of legal and regulatory issues such as drone flights over cities and highways and the continuous recording of traffic on camera.


In the future, drones could even support ambulances

The demonstration is the result of the part of the FT2 "Autonomous Near-Earth Aerial Solutions" sub-project "Development of innovative automotive testing and inspection competences in the West Hungarian region based on the infrastructure of the Zalaegerszeg Automotive Test Track GINOP-2.3.4-15-2020-00009", part of the zElőfutár drone research at Széchenyi István University.

Sub-project leaders: Dr Péter Bauer (Senior Research Fellow, ELKH SZTAKI), István Drotár (Széchenyi István University)


Dr Antal Hiba, Dr Attila Gáti, Mihály Nagy, Ádám Kisari, Ernő Simonyi, Gergely István Kuna

Details and progress of the forerunner drone project can be followed through the published news:

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