Cars should automatically call for help after crashes, EU parliament says

Voluntary adoption has been slow, so all new cars in Europe should be fitted with an eCall devices by 2015

By 2015, the European Parliament wants all new cars to automatically alert emergency services in case of a crash, a service known as eCall.

The Parliament adopted a resolution to this effect in a show of hands on Tuesday, and urged the European Commission to make eCall law.

The introduction of eCall, designed to automatically call the European emergency number 112 when a car crashes, would enable rescue services to arrive faster, saving up to 2,500 lives a year and reducing the severity of injuries by 10 to 15 percent, according to the European Parliament.

The call could be triggered by on-board sensors such as those in the airbag detecting a crash, or by any car occupant pushing a button.

The eCall systems will also use satellites and mobile telephony caller location to determine the location of the crashed car. Based on the location, eCall will contact the nearest emergency center, and will also send a minimum set of data (MSD) that includes time, the direction in which the vehicle was travelling, vehicle identification, an indication if eCall was automatically or manually triggered and information about a possible service provider. Sending the extra data is likely to reduce misunderstanding and stress and helps to eliminate language barriers between the vehicle occupants and the operator, said the parliament.

The system must not be used to monitor a person's movements or determine his or her location unless that person has been involved in an accident, the parliament said.

The idea for eCall has been floating around since 2003, and the European Commission signed a deal with car makers and technology companies in 2005 to equip new cars with eCall from 2009. However, voluntary adoption has failed and to date only 0.4 percent of European cars are fitted with the system, the parliament said. That is why Members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission to table legislation to make eCall mandatory, and to extend the system to other vehicles such as buses, motorcycles and trucks in the future.

The MEPs said the service should be free of charge to all drivers in Europe. An eCall device should cost around €100 (US$125) when implemented in all vehicles, according to a document on the website of the European Commission. The Commission expected that eCall can also be exploited commercially, for instance for advanced insurance schemes, stolen vehicle tracking and electronic road tolls.

The full deployment of eCall requires cooperation between public authorities, car companies and mobile phone operators. If eCall becomes mandatory the car manufacturers will have to build it into every new car, and member states will have to upgrade their emergency call systems to comply with the eCall standards. Not all the member states have agreed to use the system and those who did are still in the process of implementing it.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?