How eCall Works
From 2015, the European Commission wants new vehicles to automatically contact the emergency services if they crash. How? Via “eCall”. So, imagine a scenario: a vehicle crashes and the impact is registered by a sensor. This could be linked to the deployment of an air-bag. The system therefore reports the incident to the emergency services via the European Emergency Number (112). At the same time, it passes-on the time of the collision, the location as calculated by satellites/phone signal, and the direction the car was travelling. This, of course, is most relevant if it is in a tunnel or on a motorway. The call centre worker can then reassure the victim that help is on the way by talking to him through the vehicle's speakers. Alternatively, a motorist might activate the system manually via a button if he has a heart attack, stroke, fit, etc. - or the switch could be pressed by a passenger or passer-by. However, the eCall system will not necessarily automatically respond to low-speed impacts caused by (say) parking errors - so emergency workers will not be called to every incident. This system will mimic similar concepts in Russia and North America called “RA-GLONASS” and “OnStar”, respectively.
European Commission Vice-President Discusses eCallAntonio Tajani, The European Commission Vice-President, said: "The deployment of an interoperable EU-wide eCall system is an important progress in road safety.” He added: “EU citizens can be reassured by this time and life-saving system which will help prevent loss of lives and injuries on our roads. He concluded: “It is also an important step forward to make our vehicles more intelligent and enhance our competitiveness.”
Benefits of eCall SystemThe eCall system will be fitted to new cars/light duty vehicles and operate throughout the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The main benefit will be that it will help the emergency services reach victims faster. In fact, it is thought it will speed-up response times by forty percent in urban areas and fifty percent in the county - and that could save two-thousand five-hundred lives per-year. Furthermore, emergency teams will be able to secure crash sites sooner which should reduce the risk of secondary accidents. The eCall system might also have other benefits such as allowing the authorities to trace stolen cars. It could even reduce thefts. Finally, industry will benefit as numerous companies will be involved with creating/operating this important network.
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