“FDNY and NYU unite to turbocharge response times with AI!”


– The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has partnered with NYU to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to track traffic patterns and reduce emergency response times.
– The partnership will leverage NYU’s expertise and data resources, including access to datasets from applications like Waze.
– Response times have been slower in recent years, with traffic and increased call volumes being the primary contributing factors.

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has joined forces with New York University (NYU) to investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in reducing emergency response times. The FDNY’s partnership with NYU will involve tapping into the university’s resources and expertise to analyze traffic patterns and optimize emergency vehicle responses. In recent years, response times have increased, with the average response time rising to 5 minutes and 53 seconds for all emergencies during a four-month period in 2023, compared to 5 minutes and 43 seconds during the same period in the previous year.

The partnership aims to address the primary reasons for increased response times, which include traffic congestion and higher call volumes. By using AI to analyze traffic patterns and predict resource placement, the FDNY hopes to improve efficiency and reduce response times. The collaboration with NYU provides access to additional data from applications like Waze, which uses AI to help drivers find the quickest routes between locations.

The FDNY’s partnership with NYU is being funded in part by a $90,000 grant from the U.S. Transportation Department and $56,000 in FDNY personnel costs. The FDNY’s data team will be responsible for staffing the project. However, some critics argue that the partnership and funding are insufficient to address the issue of response times.

According to Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, response times have contributed to a 7% decrease in the number of people the FDNY has resuscitated in cardiac arrest and choking incidents over the past four years. Ansbro believes that the root causes of slower response times go beyond traffic congestion and include a lack of resources and changes in traffic patterns due to bike lanes and outdoor dining facilities.

The collaboration between the FDNY and NYU highlights the potential for AI to address real-world challenges and improve urban mobility. By leveraging the power of AI and data analytics, the hope is that emergency response times can be optimized, ultimately saving lives and making cities safer for residents.