Local students announced as top finalists in international competition

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PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB)– A team of local college students was announced as top finalists in the Ford Mobility challenge. It’s an international competition that asks students to find solutions to transportation issues.

A safer driving environment for EMS personnel and drivers—that’s the goal of the Gulf Coast State College Enactus team. The team created a device that can be placed in ambulances and residential vehicles.

“Basically what would happen is the GS5 signal from the ambulance would transmit a frequency to the cars, the cars would pick it up and basically frequency hop to each and every car so that way everyone could move out of the way safely as possible,” said Tyler Aderhold, Enactus Group Team Leader.

The team says they pursued this project because there’s often a lack of communication between cars and ambulances.

“There’s a lot of accidents that happen at intersections due to people not even knowing where the ambulance is coming from or people just panicking trying to get out of the way,” Aderhold said.

The students created the device by using radiofrequency technology supplied by RSAE labs. RSAE labs has worked on similar projects in the past, but not for public use. They say they were excited to learn that students were interested in creating a device for the public.

“Before then, we were only doing it on defense installations and the data was secure, it was classified and we couldn’t use it for commercial use,” said Randall Shepard, the CEO of RSAE Labs.

Next month, the team will travel to California to present their project to Ford executives. They say they’re excited to take their idea to the next level.

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