EU: Mobile operators need to upgrade networks to support eCall
The European Commission has given the go-ahead to the eCall system that will alert emergency services if vehicles are involved in a life-threatening accident.
This move will see European governments calling on their mobile operators to boost coverage so that the automated eCalls can be received from anywhere in the road network and routed quickly to the emergency services.
The Commission said that all new cars and light trucks from 2015 will need to be equipped with a GSM/GPS module as part of the eCall system. The service will be activated in the event of a serious accident and communicates the vehicle's location to the emergency services.
The EC said that eCall will dramatically cut the time presently taken for emergency teams to arrive by an estimated 40 per cent in urban areas and 50 per cent in rural areas
Further, the EC said that new regulations will be drafted to ensure that all eCall devices corresponded to the required technical specifications and be granted EU-wide approval. The estimated cost for the module and installation is below €100, according to the EC.
Discussions on how the eCall will be implemented have been delayed following questions raised over privacy concerns. The EC has now stated that location data is not transmitted while the eCall modules are in normal operation, with tracking information only being transmitted when an accident happens.