Use of artificial intelligence in control centers

Strengthening the rescue chain under the influence of extreme weather: the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) is funding the "AIRCIS" project with 2.98 million euros

Extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent and threaten people and nature. In order to be able to better predict such phenomena and reduce the associated risks and dangers for the population through appropriate precautionary measures, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) is funding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in rescue operations in the Lausitz model region with 2.98 million euros over the next three years.

With the AIRCIS project (Artificial Intelligence in Rescue Chains), experts from science and industry are conducting practice-oriented research into how the rescue chain can be strengthened under extreme weather conditions in the area of health and mobility with the use of AI methods, and are developing innovative options for action for the efficient deployment planning of rescue forces.

The increase in extreme weather events such as heat and heavy rain in Germany poses new challenges for control centers, fire departments, rescue services, disaster control and hospitals. Although control centers collect large amounts of data along the rescue chain, systematic evaluation of this data still comes up short. Moreover, there are no tools yet to simulate or plan the rescue chain even under the influence of extreme weather events. This includes not only rescue operations but also qualified patient transport (ambulance services).

Using artificial intelligence to combat the consequences of climate change

This is where the AIRCIS project comes in: The aim of the research project is to increase the resilience of public services in the area of health and mobility in the model region of Lusatia. To this end, the volume of operations is to be forecast using AI on the basis of real data from the integrated regional control center for Lusatia, and a simulation is to be developed to map the entire rescue chain. With the help of further data, extreme weather events such as storms, heavy rain, floods and heat-related health effects can be fed into the simulation and control centers can be supported in the targeted planning of deployment resources. The use of AI can thus provide early decision support for control centers and crisis teams in the dispatching of rescue forces before, during and after events.

Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, said, "Artificial intelligence is an opportunity for greater progress that we must seize. The AIRCIS research project, which we are supporting with around three million euros, is banking on this potential. Thanks to AI, the rescue chain will be simulated and planned during extreme weather events. The researchers will test how patients can be rescued and safely transported to the nearest hospital in extreme situations such as floods or heavy rain. This is a groundbreaking project, because extreme weather is a real threat that we have to deal with. Digital solutions can help us plan intelligently and with foresight and manage scarce resources - such as rescue forces - efficiently. I'm sure: Their findings will make an important contribution to strengthening rescue operations - nationwide."

The solutions developed to optimize the rescue chain in the Lusatia model region will initially strengthen cooperation between the states of Brandenburg and Saxony and enable transferability to other areas. The aim is to modernize the rescue and healthcare system with impulses far beyond the region and to improve general emergency care.

Joachim von Beesten, Managing Director of the Björn Steiger Foundation and AIRCIS project coordinator: "Climate change will foreseeably lead to more and more intense extreme weather in Germany. This is associated with a considerable increase in health problems as well as rescue and disaster control operations. This will lead to an increased volume of emergency calls and thus to an increased load on the rescue chain. Artificial intelligence is the key in this context to cope with the great demands regarding the optimization of emergency response planning - even in extreme weather situations. The AIRCIS project, in which industry and science are cooperating closely, is an important building block for the design and development of an efficient and effective data-based rescue system in our country."

Six players for more safety

The project work includes the systematic evaluation of data from control centers and other framework data such as weather or geographic data and the development of a model for AI-based forecasting of deployment volumes and user behavior under control and extreme conditions. Based on this, a multi-agent simulation environment will be designed and implemented to map the entire rescue chain for the study area. Finally, software will be developed for use in the control center for forecasting and planning operations.

In addition to the Björn Steiger Foundation from Winnenden, which as consortium leader contributes user expertise along the rescue chain in the service of emergency aid, five other partners are working together in the AIRCIS project:

  • Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS) - The non-partisan and non-profit institute in Postdam is responsible for the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the consortium and is responsible for organizing workshops at the beginning and end of the project period. Dr. Tim Stuchtey is in charge of the project.
  • Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) - The BTU researchers from the Chair of Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Optimization, led by Prof. Dr. Armin Fügenschuh, represent the Lusatian Center for Artificial Intelligence and contribute their expertise in the field of so-called Emergency Medical Services Systems on a national and international level to the project as well as in the application of various simulation techniques, a subfield of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IAGB) - Headquartered in Ottobrunn, IAGB is a European technology company and contributes to the overall project with its know-how in the creation of AI models to predict the volume of operations. The expertise is rounded off by recourse to experts from the entire IABG portfolio, such as the Competence Center for AI-supported geodata processing.
  • Moxi GmbH - The Hanover-based company operates and develops a mobility platform for digitizing and optimizing patient transport. Moxi will implement the developed AI model in software for use in control centers.
  • City of Cottbus with the Integrated Regional Control Center Lausitz (IRLS Lausitz) - The IRLS serves the districts of Dahme-Spreewald, Elbe-Elster, Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Spree-Neiße and the independent city of Cottbus with the emergency number 112 and coordinates rescue and firefighting as well as disaster operations. The IRLS supports projects for digitalization in rescue and firefighting, provides the data basis in the project and takes over the verification of practicality.

With this approach, the project makes a significant contribution to the German government's AI strategy in the areas of research, data availability and use, and transfer of AI solutions to industry and healthcare. The action plan "Digitization and Artificial Intelligence in Mobility" of the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport is also advanced by the AIRCIS project work, in particular by creating a data basis and standards for the optimization of the rescue chain and qualified patient transport.

The AIRCIS research project, led by the Björn Steiger Foundation, will be funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with around 2.98 million euros over the next three years until the end of 2025 as part of the mFUND innovation initiative.

About the BMDV's mFUND funding programme

As part of the mFUND funding programme, the BMDV has been supporting research and development projects related to data-based digital innovations for Mobility 4.0 since 2016. Project funding is supplemented by active professional networking between stakeholders from politics, business, administration and research and the provision of open data on the mCLOUD portal.

Specialist contact

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Armin Fügenschuh
Ingenieurmathematik und Numerik der Optimierung
T +49 (0) 355 69-3127

Press contact

Kristin Ebert
Stabsstelle Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 355 69-2115
In the future, artificial intelligence methods will strengthen the rescue chain under extreme weather conditions and improve the efficiency of the rescue forces' mission planning (Photo: VanHope -