Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( May 12, 1997)
SDSM& T STUDENTS INVENT EMERGENCY VEHICLE/ LOCOMOTIVE WARNING DEVICE
Two electrical engineering students from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have invented a device that could possibly save thousands of lives some day. Eric Broughton of Canton and George Gasaway of Cody, Wyoming, have designed an early warning system which they have named “ The Audio Breakthrough System.”
The device would warn automobile drivers of oncoming emergency vehicles and locomotives. Consisting of a transmitter on the emergency vehicle and a receiver on the automobile, the device interrupts the car’s audio system and outputs an audible and visual message to let the driver know that an emergency vehicle or train is approaching. The Audio Breakthrough System ( ABS) would transmit a warning regardless of whether the driver is listening to the radio, a cassette tape, compact disc, or nothing at all.
Traffic obstructions within city limits are one of the most significant delays for emergency vehicles in responding to the thousands of fatal traffic accidents that occur each year. The decibel levels in car audio systems, as well as the reduction of external noise within vehicles, often make it difficult for today’s drivers to actually hear the warning sirens of oncoming emergency vehicles or the whistle of a train’s locomotive. The ABS would make drivers more aware that an ambulance, fire truck or locomotive was approaching and allow them to remove themselves from the vehicle’s oncoming path. Because every minute is crucial to the survival of accident victims, the ABS would not only reduce the chance of traffic accidents with emergency vehicles, but also could save lives by shortening the time for the ambulance to arrive at the accident scene.
Eric and George graduated from South Dakota Tech this past weekend with Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering. They both have jobs lined up already. Broughton has accepted a position with North Star Steel, a division of Cargill, in Kingman, Arizona, and Gasaway will be working for Rockwell Corporation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Broughton and Gasaway plan to patent their design of The Audio Breakthrough System and pursue further development and marketing of their warning device. Anyone interested in helping them with the patenting or the development of their invention can contact them at the following address: Eric Broughton, 3804 E. Nicole Avenue, Kingman, AZ 86401.
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