From April, the European eCall system is mandatory in all new models of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the EU. The eCall system detects the deployment of the airbag and recovers all information from the impact sensors. It automatically alerts rescue workers in the event of an accident and also sends the location along.
The obligatory installation should save many lives.
Basically the ecall system is a service created to provide a very quick emergency response in case of a crash or road accident, anywhere in the European Union. The obvious aim is to increase European’s protection and safety as well as reduce fatalities caused by road accidents, injuries and property loss. The new law come into force at the end of March 2018 and based on European Commission’s statistics, 100% penetration should be achieved by 2035.
In order to send out an emergency call to the nearest rescue coordination center after an accident from the affected vehicle, eCall uses mobile radio and satellite positioning. In addition to voice connection, the eCall system transmits a record with relevant accident location information, type of deployment and vehicle type. Thus, the control center dispatcher can immediately send emergency services to the specified position. The system is automatically activated by sensors installed in the vehicle, but can also be triggered manually via an emergency button.
As we can read in the publication prepared by the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) “eCall can be generated either manually by vehicle passengers or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors when a serious road accident occurs. When activated, the in-vehicle eCall system establishes a 112-voice connection directly with the relevant Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Even if no passenger is able to speak, for instance due to injuries, a ‘Minimum Set of Data’ (MSD) is sent to the PSAP, which includes the exact location of the crash site, the triggering mode (automatic or manual), the vehicle identification number, a timestamp, as well as current and previous positions. This way, information that is valuable for emergency responders is reaching them as soon as possible. The option to generate an eCall manually, where a passenger can do so, for instance, by pushing a button inside the car, allows for witnesses of accidents to report it and to automatically give the precise location emergency responders need to go to.”
There are 3 main models that show how eCall will function. As European Emergency Number Association (EENA) stated these are not exhaustive but they definitely indicates overall characteristic of the system.
This is the simplest model in which Public Safety Answering Point (PSAT) receive 112 calls and eCalls from your car.
Ecalls are going only to dedicated for eCalls PSAP while 112 calls continue to be routed directly to the 122 PSAP. An eCall identified by the special “eCall flag” that mark specific call not as usual emergency but the road accident. The eCall flag system is by now only recommended by the European Commission, thus Mobile Network Operators are not obliged to implement it. In fact very few have done so.
There are created two different PSAPs – one for manually triggered eCalls and the other one for automatically triggered ones.
Does eCall send your information to others without you knowing?
You have to have in mind that there are two kinds of ecall systems: the public eCall service (whether offered by a public authority or by a private company under a public mandate) and the systems provided only by the private companies. The public 112 eCall in-vehicle system remains not connected to the mobile phone networks, unless a serious accident takes place. As a result, there is no tracking or transmission of data during the normal operation of the public system. In case of serious emergency, or manual activation, only information contained in the MSD (Minimum Set Data) are transmitted to the PSAP. The data included in the MSD are those strictly needed by the emergency services to handle the emergency situation. For instance, this information may include the triggering mode (was it automatic or manual?), the vehicle identification number, a timestamp, current and previous positions. This information is stored by the PSAP, always in compliance with the relevant legislation on personal data & consumer protection.
Private telematic services which has data from GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, road assistance or eCall has their own data protection policy which of course has to comply the european union’s law.
It is expected that eCall could increase the response time of rescue services in urban areas by 40 percent and in rural areas by 50 percent. The goal is faster first aid for injured and a reduction in the number of deaths in the event of an accident. According to estimates by the European Commission, this could reduce the number of road deaths by about 2,500 (around ten percent). Numerous new cars are already equipped with the rescue system.
1. European Commission website, available here: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ecall-time-saved-livessaved
2. European Commission MEMO, available here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-547_en.htm 3. HeERO Project (eCall deployment Project, 2011-2014), available here: http://www.heero-pilot.eu/view/sv-en/ media/news/20130415.html
3. Ecall – everything you wanted to ask but did know how to. A publication made by the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) http://www.eena.org/download.asp?item_id=111
All charts are from European Emergency Number Association (EENA) publication (http://www.eena.org/download.asp?item_id=111)
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