EU to make eCall mandatory from 2015
The Commission has adopted two proposals to ensure that, by October 2015, cars will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The “eCall” system automatically dials 112 – Europe's single emergency number – in the event of a serious accident.
This draft legislation will ensure that from October 2015, all new models of passenger cars and light duty vehicles would be fitted with 112 eCall and the necessary infrastructure would be created for the proper receipt and handling of eCalls in emergency call response centres – ensuring the compatibility, interoperability and continuity of the EU-wide eCall service.
Once the proposals are approved by the Council and Parliament, the Commission is aiming to have a fully functional eCall service in place throughout the EU (as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) by 2015.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport, said: ‘Today's proposals are a milestone for safer roads in the EU. Last year, 28 000 persons were killed and 1.5 million were injured on EU roads. When an accident happens, every minute counts to rescue injured victims. The eCall technology has great potential to save lives in shortening dramatically the time of intervention of emergency services and this across the EU.’
The news has been welcomed by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which calls on all stakeholders to work together to deliver safe, affordable motoring on Europe’s roads.
‘eCall has the potential to save lives by shortening reaction time, enabling emergency services to respond as rapidly as possible within the 'golden hour' after an accident,’ stated ACEA secretary general, Ivan Hodac.
It added that any public eCall service must be pan-European and available to all customers before the system becomes obligatory. To work properly therefore, EU infrastructure must be ready and able to receive eCalls.
‘Throughout the development process ACEA has consistently outlined the importance of parallel contributions from all stakeholders,’ said Mr Hodac. ‘Everyone and everything has to be in place for it to work.’
Accordingly, other stakeholders must uphold their commitments to the technology, Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs) must be ready in all member states, and Mobile Network Operators need to be prepared before in-vehicle systems are enforced.
To make the adoption of eCall cost-effective, the ACEA added that it calls for adaptable eCall solutions based on technology-neutral legislative requirements, permitting embedded mobile phone based and third-party solutions.