In-car automated emergency calls move a step closer
European Union plans for all new cars to be fitted with automated emergency call devices (eCall) have moved a step closer following a vote in the European Parliament's transport committee.
eCall is designed to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision, through an in-vehicle device that will automatically dial the emergency services in the event of a serious road accident. The device will send airbag deployment, impact sensor information and GPS coordinates to local emergency agencies.
The European Commission is aiming to have a fully functional eCall service in place throughout the EU by 2015. According to some estimates, eCall could speed emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and by 50% in rural areas.
The move has been welcomed by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) which represents safety campaigners and experts across the EU.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, said: "After a serious car crash, every second counts. This system has the potential to save many lives because it will enable the emergency services to respond more quickly.
"This technology should not be limited to cars; it also needs to be extended to other vehicles including lorries, buses and ultimately motorcycles."
For further information contact Dudley Curtis, ETSC communications manager, on +32 485 379945
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