The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) determining the introduction of automatic emergency call (eCall) technology in all new cars as soon as 2009 was signed on 18 October by four additional Member States – Slovenia, Greece, Italy and Lithuania. This MoU is in line with the eCall action plan agreed by the European Commission and the industry in February last.
The use of the eCall technology and the development of a safe and efficient emergency service, through the single European emergency number 112, are part of the European Union’s strategy for the “2010 European Information Society”. The European Commission has already called on Member States to put the technology needed to deal with these automatic emergency calls at the service of the emergency call centres.
In the event of a car accident, the eCall technology allows automatic or manual call to emergency services, reporting the exact location of the vehicle and thus greatly reducing these services’ response time. The aim is to direct these calls to 112.
This MoU, which had already been signed by Finland and Sweden, and is now with more than 50 signatories among the several entities involved, defines the necessary measures for the implementation of the action plan. These measures should be adopted by the Commission, the Member States and the automobile, insurance and telecommunications industries.
The eCall action plan sets 2005 as the year for agreeing on eCall standardisation and specifications, 2006 as the year for field tests to this technology and 2009 as the deadline for introducing this technology in all new vehicles in Europe, in line with the e-Safety European initiative.
- eCall: Four more EU Member States sign up to automatic emergency call action plan http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/itemlongdetail.cfm?item_id=2253
- eSafety Iniciative http://europa.eu.int/information_society/activities/esafety/doc/esafety_library/esafety_factsheet/esafety_factsheet.pdf