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In-car emergency calling to be standard in new cars by April 2018

by Mark Tyson on 29 April 2015, 11:08

Tags: European Commission

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From April 2018 all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the EU will be required to have an automatic emergency dialling service, eCall device, fitted as standard. The European Parliament voted in favour of the regulation yesterday. The intention is to "save hundreds of lives every year and help injured people quicker".

A car fitted with an eCall device will automatically call 112 (Europe's single emergency number, a free call using any SIM), in the event of an accident. The car decides if an accident has occurred using its sensors, including for example whether airbags have been deployed, and a 'Minimum Set of Data' is sent to the nearest emergency service centre. Data includes the vehicle's exact location, the time of incident and the direction of travel (useful on motorways).

Earlier eCall proposals have been delayed because of privacy concerns. People were worried about being continuously tracked and general private life infringed upon. Now the eCall device is said to remain dormant until an accident triggers it or a button in the car is pressed by the driver/passenger. The EU is keen to point out that the minimum set of information transmitted "is not stored any longer than necessary". A user may push the button not only if they are in an accident but also if they have witnessed and stopped at an accident scene.

eCall development has been going on for four years now and in its testing the EU has compiled some compelling statistics to back up its usefulness. Emergency response time is said to be cut in half or better "It goes down to 50 per cent in the countryside and 60 per cent in built-up areas". It is claimed that this will have hundreds of lives and reduce the severity of injuries in "tens of thousands of cases".

Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, responsible for Digital Society and Economy, welcomed the vote approving the regulation, "eCall is a perfect example of an EU supported project that developed technological solutions to save people's lives. The legislation now allows delivering real benefits of digital technology."



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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Oh kids are going to love pushing that button when they see it
yay… all new cars in 2018 will have gps and built in mobile technology which we likely don't control…. so free tracking of every car with it, theoretically they'll be able to monitor location, speed, who was in the car if tied in to some other sensors (some cars adjust seats already by weight etc) and upload it without us knowing. (Yes I know you can likely do all this now but it's harder without built in sim)

They say it's dormant until needed…. oh yes of course we believe the governments, they've never monitored people without permission…

Saracen will love this lol
LSG501


Saracen will love this lol
Indeed. Furtunately, I have wirecutters. ;)

In all seriousness, that WOULD be enough to stop me buying a new car equipped with this, and if they all have it, it'll stop me buying a new car at all, unless it's either a delete option or user-removable.

Looks like my days of new cars might be numbered. Oh well, it'll save me shedloads of wedge, I guess.
Am I missing something or does someone have to put a SIM in this setup? In which case can't we just pull the SIM? And who pays for that SIM, the car owner, the manufacturer?

Hate to disappoint the “no track” folks but I strongly suspect that the MOT will introduce a test for eCall, so if you snip it then you've got an unroadworthy car.

Personally I can't see the upside of this at all - if you want that functionality then by all means make it a low-cost option for everyone. In which case all the EU Parli had to do was force manufacturers to offer it on all models. Forcing everyone to have it as standard sounds a tad heavy handed.

I despair of politicians sometimes … actually I'm fibbing, I despair of them all the time.
crossy
Am I missing something or does someone have to put a SIM in this setup? In which case can't we just pull the SIM? And who pays for that SIM, the car owner, the manufacturer?

Hate to disappoint the “no track” folks but I strongly suspect that the MOT will introduce a test for eCall, so if you snip it then you've got an unroadworthy car.

Personally I can't see the upside of this at all - if you want that functionality then by all means make it a low-cost option for everyone. In which case all the EU Parli had to do was force manufacturers to offer it on all models. Forcing everyone to have it as standard sounds a tad heavy handed.

I despair of politicians sometimes … actually I'm fibbing, I despair of them all the time.

I know the Alfa Connect system that was an option on my old 147 doesn't require a sim to dial out in emergency, apparently 112 doesn't need one which makes sense if the call is guaranteed free.

I made sure my car didn't come with the Connect functionality.