Mercedes gives first responders an AR view of its cars

The Rescue Assist app shows areas to beware of when cutting into a vehicle.

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Mercedes gives first responders an AR view of its cars

Only advertisers love QR codes, but Mercedes-Benz actually made them useful in the real world. By putting the codes on the B-pillars and gas doors of its vehicles, firefighters can use its Rescue Assist app and quickly figure out how to help folks involved in an accident. The automaker made the latest version easier to use by adding augmented reality (AR) and 3D visualization features. That lets first responders see dangerous components -- like fuel lines and high-voltage components in electric and hybrid cars -- overlaid on the real-world vehicle, Pokémon-style.

The app works whether or not you have a data connection and, as before, provides "rescue cards" with safety information relevant to each vehicle. It includes details on Mercedes passenger cars built since 1990, and the QR codes can be affixed to older models. The app is probably more useful to rescue personnel in Europe, however, where a much higher percentage of vehicles on the road are made by Daimler-Benz.

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