On 31 March, all new passenger cars sold in the European Union will be equipped with an electronic emergency call system (eCall), which should reduce the time for emergency services to reach road accidents. This is good news for drivers across Europe, as estimates indicate the system could save thousands of lives each year.
In case of a road accident, eCall will send an automatic notification to emergency services, alerting them to the location of the vehicle and the type of crash that has occurred. The faster turnaround from a crash to on-the-scene emergency response could see as many as 2,500 lives being saved per year.
FIA Region I Director General, Laurianne Krid said: “We welcome this positive step for road safety as eCall should help save lives across Europe. Now that all cars will have the potential to communicate wirelessly, we need to ensure that its implementation is monitored closely to avoid any stumbling blocks.”
She added: “This is also an important milestone for the development of the connected vehicle. Since all new cars from this point on will have a communication line with the outside world, it is time for the EU to put its focus on the wider issues surrounding access to vehicle data. In fact, a Commission proposal to regulate on how to access vehicle data is well overdue. It is now becoming an urgent matter for motorists.”
The eCall Regulation (2015/758) included a proposal for a legislative approach to an ‘interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform’.