If you've spent any time using a smartphone, you've likely come across QR code stickers, letting you redeem a coupon or get some snippet of information. Mercedes-Benz plans to start putting such codes in its vehicles, but for a nobler reason: making it easier for first responders to access injured occupants and remove them with as little effort as possible.
The QR code will be scannable by a standard smartphone or tablet with a relevant app, providing those who scan it a detailed "rescue map" of the model, including such things as where the airbags are located, electrical cables, the battery, cylinders under high pressure, the car's layout, and other such information needed. This will let the rescue workers determine how best to access the vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz already provides rescue sheets in its vehicles, but says that most drivers fail to have them in the car, or place them in a spot that the rescuers can't find. This requires the workers to attempt to determine what kind of make and model the car is based on a visual assessment unless a title or registration paper can be located. The workers then have to look up the appropriate rescue sheet for the car, which takes up valuable time and isn't as accurate.
The QR code will eliminate all of this by allowing the rescuers to scan it and have instant access to the information needed. Such codes will be provided via two stickers placed on the cars, with one on the fuel tank flap and the second on the B-pillar on the opposite side of the first sticker. Such locations, says Mercedes-Benz, are rarely damaged together to such a degree that the stickers wouldn't be scannable.
Because the QR codes point to a website that contains the rescue sheets, the manufacturer can update its sheets as needed so that information is always up-to-date. Says the auto maker, the stickers can be retrofitted, perhaps indicating it will make them available for models that have already been sold. Stickers will be included on all Mercedes-Benz vehicles starting this year.