This is such a great use of technology; an in-vehicle system that alerts the emergency services immediately a collision occurs.
eCall is an initiative developed under the Digital Agenda For Europe banner, with the purpose to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the European Union.
Each vehicle’s position is noted by a GPS receiver, and if an accident occurs the system transmits vital data across the mobile network to a call centre known as a PSAP – public-safety answering point.
Not only does it send GPS location details, it can also let the operator know if one or more airbags have been deployed, along with impact sensor information.
As soon as the data is received the operator knows the location and severity of the impact and will mobilise the appropriate resources.
This system clearly requires that the vehicle(s) involved in a collision are within a wireless coverage area, so very remote areas would present a challenge. Initial trails have been successfully tested with GPRS and in-band signalling over cellular networks.
For those people who are shouting “Big Brother is watching you” at the screen, the system is inactive until a collision occurs so can’t be used for tracking purposes.
As well as an automated transmission from a vehicle involved in a collision, it may become possible for any other driver whose car is equipped with eCall to manually press a button to alert the emergency services of a crash they have witnessed. So even if there is no impact data at least the collision can be reported immediately it occurs.
Assuming the technical challenges can be overcome, and the privacy concerns addressed to everyone’s satisfaction, it is suggested that this technology could speed emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and by 50% in rural areas.
Now that’s got to make it worthwhile.
For a really interesting read go to the official website here then follow the link at the bottom of that page to the eCall Toolbox.