MEPs want eCall system in all new cars by 2015
By Isabelle Smets | Tuesday 19 June 2012
In a resolution adopted jointly by the European Parliament’s Committees on the Internal Market (IMCO) and Transport (TRAN), on 19 June, MEPs say that all new cars sold in the EU after 2015 should come fitted with eCall devices. Based on embedded sensors in the car using standards developed at European level, this system enables a damaged vehicle to automatically trigger an emergency call - using the European 112 number - in case of a serious accident even if no passenger is able to speak, for example due to injuries. The system sends a ‘minimum set of data, including the exact location of the crash site and the time of the accident. According to estimates, the eCall system would save up to 2,500 lives a year and reduce the severity of injuries by 10% to 15%, the resolution states.
The resolution was adopted by 58 votes to four, with eight abstentions. The plenary vote is foreseen for July. MEPs thus sent a clear signal to the European Commission that it should table legislation requiring the member states to upgrade their emergency response services infrastructure so that they can handle eCalls by 2015. This deadline is not contested by the executive, which itself adopted, in September 2011, a recommendation urging member states to do so by the end of 2014.
According to MEPs, only 0.4% of vehicles are currently equipped with the eCall service in the EU. Installing the system would cost less than €100 per new vehicle.