“ERROR – the Art of Imperfection” was the theme of this year’s Ars Electronica Festival, the world’s largest art, technology, and society event with a unique gathering of creators, media artists, technologists, scientists, researchers, companies, and start-ups. The festival was held from September 6-10 in Linz, Austria.

An error as a deviation from the norm does not always have to be interpreted negatively. It can also be seen as an engine for society, as an incentive and impetus for new things. In most cases, however, errors do lead to difficulties. Accidents, fires, natural disasters – all of these events can be considered as the results of mistakes in everyday life, as unwanted interruptions of a planned process. In this respect, emergency response organizations are confronted with errors in our environment and society every day, and must spontaneously adapt to the most difficult situations.


Focus Topic “The Future of Helping”

Fahrzeuge der mitwirkenden Feuerwehren vor der Post City

In this context, “The Future of Helping” was one of the festival’s core themes. By constantly engaging with the challenges of the future and through the continuous development of new possibilities and technologies, Rosenbauer enthusiastically presented its latest innovations and concepts to a broad audience.




CFT @ Ars Electronica Festival

Current social and technical changes such as climate change, urbanization, demographic changes, digitization etc., will also affect fire departments’ organization and technology (Details Firefighting Trendmap).

Rosenbauer CFT - Ars Electronica Festival 2018 The Concept Fire Truck (CFT) gives initial answers to the questions of the future. In addition to the numerous innovations, the concept study is characterized in particular by its innovative vehicle architecture, which could only be realized through the use of electric drives. These bring with them excellent ergonomics, highest functionality and safety, high loading volumes with compact dimensions, as well as one-of-a-kind driving performance and agility. The 18-ton vehicle is equipped with a Rosenbauer NH35 pump and a 1200 liter water tank and reaches a top speed of 110 km/h with a drive power of 350 kW. The interior can accommodate seven people.

Präsentation „Sky Language“ mit Drohnen und Bodenfahrzeugen des Ars Electronica Future Lab

Ars Electronica Futurelab “Sky Language” presentation with drones and ground vehicles

At the festival, the CFT could not only be marveled at up close, but could also be communicated with through the power of thought alone. It was thus possible to activate the light signals of the CFT through thoughts by means of the Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) from g.tec.

The CFT was positioned directly next to the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The Futurelab is the technology forge of Ars Electronica, which deals extensively with, for example, the control of drone swarms. Due to this unique expertise, Rosenbauer is cooperating with Futurelab in order to break new ground for embedding operational drones within our EMEREC operations management system.


“Hose Trainer” training tool in action

Young firefighters in a training exercise with the Hose TrainerAs a further interactive tool on the subject of firefighting technology, it was possible to try out our Hose Trainer. This is a training tool via which a wide range of situations can be safely simulated and interactively trained. The focus is on correct behavior with regard to vehicle and indoor fires. The Hose Trainer is grounded in the mathematical-physical modeling of fire and smoke evolution and the spread and extinguishing effect of water and foam, allowing extremely realistic training.



From the Future to Reality

Alongside the CFT was the world’s first fully electric tactical fire truck, which is in use at Linz AG – the result of a collaboration between Linz AG, Kreisel Electric, and Rosenbauer. A Rosenbauer CL-P system was set up on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter electrified by Kreisel. The vehicle has a battery capacity of 86 kWh and a 120 kW electric drive, with a range of around 160 km.


Emergency Error Battle – Upper Austrian Fire Departments in the “Deployment of the Future”

The highlight was definitely the Error Battle Challenge held on Saturday, organized by Ars Electronica in cooperation with the Upper Austrian Fire Department Association and supported by us. Here, a fictitious firefighting mission was played out in PostCity’s package sorting hall. Six volunteer fire departments from Upper Austria participated in the challenge.

DS2A7829_klein DS2A7895_klein DS2A7945_klein DS2A7965_klein DS2A7802_klein





The premise of the exercise was an explosion with a resulting fire and a search for missing persons. In order to complete the mission successfully, not only did the parcel slides have to be climbed from the bottom to the top in full respirator gear, but modern technological prototypes also had to be successfully deployed. For example, the correct light signal had to be activated on the CFT using the BCI, and, using Rosenbauer’s remote-controlled crawler, after a journey dodging through flying debris, an extinguishing operation with the in-built RM15 monitor had to be simulated. The challenge gripped the attention of countless enthusiastic spectators and fans.

Emergency Error Battle - Ars Electronica Festival

All six participating teams with the President of the Upper Austrian Fire Department Association, Dr. Wolfgang Kronsteiner.

The firefighting teams, mostly consisting of twelve people, were fully engaged, and showed little trepidation when it came to interacting with the new technologies. The winning team from the Schenkenfelden volunteer fire department mastered the challenge in 6 minutes 58 seconds. The team will certainly take more time enjoying its prize; an experience visit to Rosenbauer, including a factory tour and CFT demonstration!