The city of Olsztyn in Northern Poland is the first one in the world to successfully introduce the project for municipal emergency services by utilising a combo of blockchain connection platform SmartKey, dedicated mobile app, and Teltonika bestselling GPS tracker FMB920.
Thanks to this outstanding solution, now ambulance, police, and fire brigade vehicles can enter any closed city district or secure building swiftly without interference, waste of time, without a keyholder presence or its assistance, neighbours help or any kind of permission simply by clicking a button in the app. This ensures timely emergency service arrival to the destination and, to some extent, saves people’s lives or brings offenders to justice.
To make it work, Teltonika trackers have been mounted on every single one of emergency vehicles, closed district and private property barriers, gates, and building Intercom systems to track their location and control the corresponding locks via GPS device digital output and remote command sent from the mobile app through the decentralised blockchain Ethereum network. When a car approaches the gate, all a driver has to do to open it is to press an appropriate button on the smartphone.
Why the blockchain then? The SmartKey has earned a reputation for itself by providing reliable tamper-proof data for complex smart contracts on any blockchain. Publicly viewable on it, smart contracts are immutable. Practically, their parameters or the specifics of a contract cannot be altered once deployed. That ensures unquestionable communication security.
WHAT IS THE VALUE IN IT?
On one hand, boom barriers, automatic gates, and Intercoms systems may enhance neighbourhood safety, protect property, and people’s assets, but there is a dark side to it - on some occasions, it is a major concern and obstacle for ambulance, police, and fire brigade vehicles. For the sake of example, let’s go through a few actual scenarios mentioned in this video ambulance crews used to often encounter in Olsztyn:
A person in need is so weak that cannot answer an Intercom call and unlock the gate and/or entrance door (or does so with a significant delay). An ambulance got stuck behind the gate/door. It is 2 a.m., neighbours asleep, and there is no one to help with access.
Frequently, an ambulance staff has a lot of heavy, delicate and/or fragile medical equipment to carry with which can weigh tens of kilograms. Because of the greater distance to a building, that causes delays. Moreover, running or tipping with a hefty load is not an option either. Also, if a stretcher is needed, but it can’t go through the barrier, it becomes a serious challenge and makes the matter even worse.
A closed district or private development boom barriers close automatically after the pre-programmed period. Ambulance car with a patient onboard cannot leave its territory, because there is no one to open it, or people forget to do so due to the stressful situation, tiredness or late hours.
But thanks to the inventive thinking outside the box, modern technologies, and constructive business partnership, it all remains in the past for people in this city. Hopefully, others will follow the lead not only in Poland, but in the rest of Europe too, or even further.
‘By using the blockchain to allow seamless access to secure areas we can help to save lives. With this project, we are also bringing to life smart city technology, enabled by smart contracts on the blockchain and this helps to lay the groundwork for smart cities of the future.’ - Szymon Fiedorowicz, CEO of SmartKey.