2017 Winner – Michael Giglio, Emergency Vehicle In Transit Assist (EVITA)
Michael Giglio came up with the idea for EVITA while waiting for the school bus.
“Our local fire station is next to the bus stop – while waiting I have seen many examples of traffic driving past the fire engine while it is trying to get from the fire station onto the road,” he said.
“I have also seen fire engines screeching to a halt when pedestrians are crossing the road on a green walk signal and fail to stop and let the fire engine pass – both are examples of valuable time wasted that could be spent reaching their destination.”
Loud car stereos, high-tech earbuds and enticing phone screens mean drivers and pedestrians are more distracted that ever – so we often miss the bright lights and screaming sirens of emergency service vehicles. Michael’s invention works by connecting an app on the user’s phone with a Bluetooth-powered iBeacon installed inside emergency vehicles. Turning on the vehicle’s lights and sirens activates the iBeacon, and nearby app users receive audio alerts that an emergency vehicle is in their far, near or immediate area.
The first responders agree: “One of the most dangerous phases of an emergency is the response phase, when we are driving under lights and sirens to the call. An app like EVITA could dramatically reduce the risks posed by responding emergency vehicles to both the community and emergency service personnel.”