The EU-wide eCall emergency call service for passenger cars and vans is progressing. Cars that automatically make a direct call to the emergency call centre in the event of an accident will be seen on the roads next year. From the beginning of October, all emergency call centres within the Union should be ready to receive messages sent automatically by cars in accident situations.
Through the eCall emergency call service, the information on the type and location of cars that have crashed is transmitted accurately to the emergency call centre and help can be sent as soon as possible. At the same time, a speech connection also opens between the car and the emergency call centre.
“It has been estimated that the eCall service will reduce the number of road accident fatalities by 4–5 per cent every year when help reaches the location faster than before,” says Chief Advisor Anna Schirokoff from Trafi.
“In accident situations, eCall sends a data package to the emergency call centre. The package contains information on the direction of travel, the location, the type of the vehicle and whether the alarm has been sent manually or automatically. With this information, we can send the nearest and most appropriate help to the accident scene,” says Director of the Technical Services Department Jukka Aaltonen from the Emergency Response Centre Administration, describing the new emergency call service.
The models of passenger cars and vans that are granted type approval after March 2018 must be equipped with the eCall service and it has been estimated that the first cars taking advantage of the service will be on the roads in Finland during next year.
Many car manufacturers also have their own emergency call applications, which can continue to be used. The benefits of the free eCall service are that it works everywhere in the EU and contacts the emergency call centre directly.
“The Emergency Response Centre Administration recommends that car manufacturers use the pan-European eCall system, in which the emergency call is directed to the Emergency Response Centre directly without any intermediaries. The data system at the Emergency Response Centre has been coordinated only with eCall,” says Aaltonen.
“The eCall system is indeed an excellent example of a service that improves safety and exploits new technology,” says Schirokoff.
www.trafi.fi/ecall (in Finnish)
Anna Schirokoff, Chief Adviser, tel. +358 29 5345 268, anna.schirokoff (at) trafi.fi
Emergency Response Centre Administration
Jukka Aaltonen, Director, Technical Services, tel. +358 295 481 451, jukka.aaltonen (at) 112.fi