When INTERSCHUTZ, the world’s leading trade fair for the fire and rescue services, civil protection, safety and security, opens its gates on 15 June 2020 in Hannover, Germany, Timmy the border collie will be driving up in the local fire brigade’s sporty new BMW X3 mobile command vehicle. Visitors already got a foretaste of this at Italy’s biggest disaster control trade fair, REAS, where the border collie was invited as a guest of honor at the beginning of October: In combination with the sleek and modern command vehicle – decked out in fire engine red and sporting a flashing blue light – the cute service dog was a popular photo motif there.

BMW will be showcasing itself at the upcoming INTERSCHUTZ in Hannover via a large-scale stand featuring the full range of the automaker’s latest vehicles, outfitted with the latest technology as well as the potential applications.

Mobile command vehicle

Timmy’s service vehicle, a BMW X3 xDrive30e, is in widespread use by fire brigades, police and rescue services throughout Germany. Thomas von Grossmann, Head of Direct and Special Customer Sales at the BMW Group in Germany, explains:

"The BMW X3 has a wide range of applications as an emergency vehicle, and is often used as an emergency ambulance due to its roominess, high ground clearance and all-wheel drive."

The first model of this type was launched in 2003, and the BMW X3 is now in its third generation. The BMW X3 is popular not only as a service car with government authorities, but also as a private vehicle, not least due to the ease of entry due to its higher seats. The BMW X3 is also available as a hybrid model. In electric operation, the vehicle has a range of up to 55 kilometers. So far, however, the BMW X3 remains unique as a "service vehicle" for a dog.

For BMW, INTERSCHUTZ is the most important trade fair in the field of emergency vehicles. In addition to BMW’s standalone display, the company is also presenting itself in cooperation with the State Fire Brigade Association of Lower Saxony. "The aim is to illustrate how emergency vehicles can be located by a command center," reveals Günther Nitschke, Area Manager for Emergency Vehicles in Northern and Eastern Germany.

Connected Drive

The entire exhibition area will be included for this purpose. BMW’s Connected Drive system is set to play an important role in this, helping to connect the vehicle with the outside world.

"Connected Drive is already being used by several command centers," says Günther Nitschke. "For example, the program can be used to transmit a location and the most convenient access route directly to the vehicle." The driver of the car then only needs to press the ‘accept’ button and he already knows what has transpired. But Connected Drive also offers numerous other options – for example, the command center can remotely see how much fuel is left in the tank or whether the vehicle has been locked or left open.

Holmatro Extrication Challenge

Another highlight of BMW’s activities at INTERSCHUTZ involves its cooperation with the Dutch company Holmatro. For the second time, Holmatro will be organizing an international competition. At the Holmatro Extrication Challenge, 29 teams from all over the world will compete to rescue a trapped patient from a vehicle using Holmatro rescue equipment.

"We’re making 40 vehicles available for this purpose – test vehicles which would normally be slated for recycling, but now we can put them to good use for a good cause,” explains Thomas von Grossmann.