Emergency Vehicle simulation#

The simulation of emergency vehicles and their special rights is partially possible with SUMO. Additional capabilities are planned for the future.

  • Blue light device: A blue light device indicates that the emergency vehicle is driving with special rights (using blue flashing light and sirene). Emergency vehicles can ignore red traffic lights. Other traffic participants are forced to form a virtual middle lane (rescue lane) to let the emergency vehicle pass if the vehicle has a blue light device. To use this the feature, the sublane model must be active
    • All vehicles in front of the emergency vehicle in a distance of 25 meters (configurable with --device.bluelight.reactiondist) are moving towards the side of their current lane.
    • Vehicles on the leftmost lane move towards the left side (latAlignment="left")
    • Vehicles on all other lanes move towards the right side (latAlignment="right")
    • Vehicles do not currently change their speed in response to the bluelight device
    • After the emergency vehicle has passed the vehicles resume normal driving (with their previous lateral Alignment).
  • Disregarding right-of-way and traffic lights:
  • Exceeding the speed limit: This is supported by setting the vType-attribute speedFactor (a value of 1.5 allows driving with 150% of the road speed limit).
  • Overtaking on the right: This is always permitted for vehicles with vClass="emergency"
  • Overtaking on the opposite side on a multi-lane road is the exclusive privilege of vehicles with vClass="emergency"


The visualization of emergency vehicles is supported in sumo-gui. When setting the vType-attribute guiShape="emergency" a white vehicle with the international sign for first aid is drawn. Furthermore a police car will be drawn with vType-attribute guiShape="police" and a firebrigade with vType-attribute guiShape="firebrigade". When additionally setting the vType-attribute vClass="emergency" a blue flashing light will be drawn also.



Bieker, Laura (2015) Traffic safety evaluations for Emergency Vehicles. Young Researchers Seminar, 17.-19. June 2015, Rome, Italy.

Bieker, Laura (2011) Emergency Vehicle Prioritization using Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication. Young Researchers Seminar, 8.-10. June 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark.