The German city of Ludwigsburg just north Stuttgart has been equipped with Cohda Wireless’s world-leading V2X technology to enable fire trucks and rescue service teams to get to accidents and emergencies faster, potentially saving lives long into the future.    

In an initiative led by leading traffic technology group SWARCO, all traffic lights and intersections in Ludwigsburg (pop. 85,000) have been fitted with Cohda MK5 Road-Side Units which correspond with the equivalent MK5 On-Board Units in fire trucks and rescue vehicles to grant them green-light passage en route to emergencies, when every second counts.  

Following a successful pilot project in early 2019, SWARCO has equipped 114 traffic lights in Ludwigsburg with Cohda’s technology which allows them to exchange information directly with approaching vehicles using DSRC (standardised radio).   The ACTROS control units of the traffic lights were equipped with the necessary program, which automatically prioritises the fire engines as they pass through.

The system works by sending messages relaying position and speed, several times per second, from emergency vehicles to a traffic light controller.   There, the signals are processed and compared with the scenarios stored in the programming. If the system detects an approaching emergency vehicle, the programmed signal sequence is started and the traffic light controller switches to the prioritisation program. Once the firefighters have passed the intersection, the traffic light controller switches back to normal as quickly as possible to minimize impact on road traffic and traffic disturbance.

Dr. Paul Gray, Cohda Wireless’s CEO said that this is a prime example of a cooperative, intelligent transport system that is geared to saving lives.

“V2X technology improves safety on our roads and is usually applied to help reduce injury and death.  This initiative demonstrates the versatility of the technology,”  explained Dr. Gray.  

“In this instance, it is being applied to support emergency services in responding to incidents and accidents that have already happened, thereby also saving lives.”   

“Ludwigsburg is setting an example that cities around the world can follow,” added Dr Gray. 

Ludwigsburg’s mayor Dr. Matthias Knecht said the fire department prioritisation in his city is a first full practical application of V2X in Germany and makes Ludwigsburg a showcase city that is already relying on innovative C-ITS technologies and intelligent traffic lights, thus preparing for its future as a smart city.

“A primary goal of our mobility concept is to optimize the traffic flow. To achieve this, we also rely on intelligent traffic light systems,” said Dr. Knecht.

“SWARCO’s technology for prioritising emergency vehicles of the fire brigade is an excellent example for this – because in an emergency every second counts, of course. Together with the city of Ludwigsburg, SWARCO has developed this innovative technology and brought it to the streets,” added Dr. Knecht.

Cohda Wireless’s technology has been applied in other similar ways to make roads safer.   In Estonia and Finland, Cohda’s V2X hardware and software features in a smart pedestrian crosswalk solution which alerts pedestrians and other road-users to danger. 

In Norway, Cohda’s vehicle positioning system contributed to a successful trial carried out in the Bjørnegård tunnel in the municipality of Bærum.  The purpose of the trial was to demonstrate the efficacy of Cohda Wireless’s world-leading vehicle positioning solution, V2X-Locate, in the newly-built 2.2km tunnel in an effort to improve vehicle safety in this tunnel and others like it around the world.   

Cohda’s software products are applied in more than 60 percent of all V2X field trials in the world today in compliance with US Federal Communications Commission, European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Chinese standards. 

Learn more here: V2X tech gives German firefighters the green light


Cohda Wireless is a global leader in the development of Connected Vehicles and Connected Autonomous Vehicle software with proven applications for Smart City, Mining and other environments. Cohda’s technology connects vehicles with infrastructure and pedestrians to make our streets, cities and working environments safer, smarter and greener.  Cohda is headquartered in Australia and has offices in Europe, China and the USA.  

Cohda Wireless’s innovative software solutions enable autonomous vehicles to connect with other vehicles and with Smart City infrastructure. These connections span Vehicle¬to¬Vehicle, Vehicle¬to¬Infrastructure, and Vehicle¬to-Pedestrian (collectively called V2X), and allow CAVs to ‘talk’ to each other, Smart Cities, and vulnerable road users in order to avoid accidents, reduce congestion and be more efficient. Cohda partners with Tier 1 Automotive Suppliers, ITS Equipment Vendors, and Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) vendors to provide complete hardware/software solutions to Car Makers, Smart Cities, and Mine Operators, respectively. Cohda’s products are used widely in locations including the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Africa, Middle East, China, Singapore and Korea.


SWARCO’s leading idea is to improve quality of life by making the travel experience safer, quicker, more convenient and environmentally sound. For this purpose, the Austrian traffic technology corporation produces and provides a large range of products, systems, services, and turnkey solutions in road marking, urban and interurban traffic control, parking, and public transport. Cooperative systems, infrastructure-to-vehicle communication, electromobility, and integrated software solutions for the Liveable City are latest fields in the group’s portfolio. Our 3800 traffic experts are keen to shape together with you the transition from conventional traffic management to value-added services fit for the traveller in the digital age. Read more about SWARCO on

SWARCO TRAFFIC SYSTEMS GmbH is the largest company in the SWARCO Group. The company acts as a system integrator for traffic lights and intersection control systems, motorway and tunnel guidance systems, parking guidance systems and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, including associated software development. A Germany-wide network of service technicians ensures that the traffic systems are ready for use around the clock and well maintained. The company is shaping future mobility with solutions for connected cooperative driving, integrated parking and charging management for vehicle fleets and smart cities, as well as nitrogen reduction in cities.

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