Every brand new Mercedes-Benz rolls out from the factory with a pair of QR code stickers – one affixed to the fuel filler lid and the other on the B-pillar covered by the front passenger door. QR codes are everywhere these days, but this particular set of QR codes function as a safety feature.
The QR Rescue Codes are a part of Mercedes-Benz’s Rescue Assist programme. Through the QR codes, rescue workers are able to immediately identify the vehicle model involved in a crash and pull up schematics specific to it, allowing them to quickly devise the best possible method to free any trapped occupants from the vehicle.
In sufficiently severe accidents in which access to the cabin is impeded by a severely compromised chassis, rescue workers may have to resort to cutting the vehicle at the pillars to gain access to trapped occupants. The problem facing rescuers is knowing where to cut.
Challenges in deciding the right place to cut a vehicle’s chassis include needing to avoid cutting through an airbag module – which would result in an unwanted explosive deployment that could harm both rescuer and victim – as well as, in the case of a hybrid vehicle, to be aware of wiring for high voltage circuitry. Knowledge of the vehicle’s fuel line is also crucial.
Car makers often conduct briefings with the fire department to relay this information, but accessing the correct model-specific information at the crash scene often takes precious time with the life and death of trapped occupants at stake.
The QR Rescue Codes allow rescue workers to call up all these information of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle on the spot. The information can be accessed through a specially-developed Rescue Assist app available on both iOS and Android platforms; a user without the said app can access the data online, but subject to availability of mobile data coverage at the given time.
This specific utilization of QR codes was devised by Mercedes-Benz’s Safety Laboratory and the company has opted to waive its patent right on this innovation for other car makers to use it. Owners of older Mercedes models sold before this system’s roll out can also request for a QR Rescue Code to be created for their vehicle.
In view of its growing range of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has just completed a training session for 40 members of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department to impart relevant technical and practical know-how to handle emergencies involving such vehicles.
To date, Mercedes-Benz has sold over 6,700 hybrid-powered vehicles in Malaysia consisting of the W222 S400 Hybrid, W212 E300 BlueTec Hybrid, and most recently, the W205 C350e plug-in-hybrid. The company has already confirmed that it will be adding the W213 E350e plug-in hybrid in due course.