Poland gets its first ever ‘green wave’ system for emergency vehicles


Rzeszów has become the first city in Poland to implement technology to automatically give priority to emergency vehicles at intersections.

The new system expands existing ITS with the new functionally provided by Siemens’ Sitraffic Stream technology that guarantees priority for emergency vehicles. It has successfully passed the testing phase and is already operating in Rzeszów.

The technology provides automatic green light at each intersection for selected emergency vehicles equipped with a special on-board unit. The system uses GPS to determine the exact position of the vehicle, sends the data to the traffic control center and requests the priority phase.

No physical roadside infrastructure is required and the system returns to normal high beam operation as soon as possible after an emergency service vehicle has passed the intersection. Everything happens automatically.

“Due to the fact that vehicle does not have to slow down before the intersection, it drives more safely, does not generate noise due to the lower use of sirens, and the green light on the entire route allows drivers to create a life corridor for an oncoming emergency service vehicle. All this ensures better, more effective and safer driving at intersections, and consequently – the implementation of tasks,” says Tomasz Baran, city commander of the State Fire Brigade in Rzeszów.

“The system has been installed in 42 vehicles of emergency services – ambulance, fire brigade and police. This is the first such implementation in Poland, which only emphasizes the innovativeness of Rzeszów in creating solutions that improve the quality of functioning in all areas in the city,” says Tadeusz Ferenc, Mayor of Rzeszów.

The technology was implemented by Siemens Mobility, the operator of the ITS system in Rzeszów, as well as other Polish cities – Warsaw, Poznań, Kraków, Białystok and Tychy.

“The priority for emergency vehicles is already successfully operating in Europe, including above all dozen of German cities and the capital of Iceland. We are glad that it is also reaching Poland, and Rzeszów is gaining technology that will benefit all residents,” says Dariusz Obcowski, director of the ITS in Siemens Mobility Poland.

Since 2015, an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has been operating in Rzeszów, covering the entire city. The system includes 66 intersections with traffic lights, over 40 VMS, weather and pollution measurement stations, as well as CCTV camera systems, ANPR travel time system, intelligent weighing and priority for public transport.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).