eCall: European Parliament taking the lead on competition, choice and data protection, says FIA
Brussels, 24 April 2012
“The road is now paved for the European Commission to follow the key recommendations on eCall set out by this European Parliament report” , said Werner Kraus, President of the FIA Region I office, ahead of a joint meeting of the European Parliament TRAN and IMCO committees to discuss an own-initiative report on eCall today.
“We fully support the Parliament report’s commitment to ensuring consumers’ freedom of choice and to safeguarding competition in the area of in-vehicle devices. This will be a key issue for the automotive sector in coming years”, said Mr Kraus. “We welcome the introduction of mandatory eCall in all new type approved cars, as we firmly believe this system will help save lives on European roads”, he continued. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office, based in Brussels, represents 36 million motorists via its 106 member clubs.
According to a declaration by Commissioner Kroes in September 2011, all vehicles should be equipped with an on-board telematics device allowing for the emergency ‘eCall’ system by 2015. This additional technology is likely to bring about significant safety benefits along with the possibility to introduce a range of additional services for European motorists such as breakdown assistance service, traffic information, stolen vehicle tracking and pay-as-you-go insurance schemes.
The FIA believes that more should be done to maintain consumers’ freedom to choose and change providers of additional services over the lifetime of their vehicles: this would strengthen consumers’ acceptance by allowing them to reap the full benefits of installing telematics technology in new vehicles.
“We hope that the report’s support for a market guaranteeing both free competition and free choice for consumers, while respecting strict data protection principles, will be taken on board in the development of the upcoming type approval legislation”, said Mr Kraus.
In recent months both the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Ms Neelie Kroes, and the Commissioner for Competition, Mr Joaquín Almunia, have confirmed that they see a need to protect competition, consumer choice and data protection in the development of eCall and additional ICT-based services.
Notes to Editors:
Key recommendations of European Parliament report
While recognising that eCall utilises technical components (satellite positioning, processing and communication capabilities) that could also provide the basis for several other in-vehicle applications and services, the own-initiative report:
16. “Calls on the Commission to ensure that the eCall system is based on an interoperable and open-access platform in order to encourage innovation and boost the competitiveness of the European information technology industry on the global markets”
17. “Stresses that any additional services to be used in a vehicle – especially when driving – will need to comply with clear safety, security and data protection privacy standards, and that compliance with such standards must be measured and controlled”
Draft Report on the regulatory introduction of eCall (2012/2056(INI))
The rapporteurs of the report are Olga Sehnalová (S&D) and Dieter-Lebrecht Koch (EPP). The own-initiative report is expected to be voted upon in Plenary on 3 July 2012.
What is eCall?
eCall, an electronic safety system that automatically calls emergency services in the case of a serious car accident, is ready to be deployed across Europe. Even if you are unconscious, the system will inform rescue workers of the crash site's exact location, and the ambulance will be on its way within minutes. eCall will save lives and reduce the severity of injuries.
When will eCall be implemented in the EU?
The technical development of eCall is completed. The Commission is reinforcing efforts to speed up the deployment of this life-saving technology, with the aim of having a fully functional EU-wide service in place by 2015. According to the European Commission, the parallel action of Member States, car manufacturers, telecom operators and emergency centres is now needed to ensure that this system will seamlessly function throughout Europe by this time.
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office
FIA Region I represents 106 Touring and Motoring Clubs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its Brussels office, which total more than 36 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.
The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.
For more information, please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Region I: firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 282 0812