What is eCall?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Aug 13, 2018

eCall is an in-vehicle system that automatically alerts emergency services in case of a road accident and will also inform the rescue workers about the crash site's exact location. This 112 emergency call can be either generated by the vehicle occupant manually or by in-vehicle sensors automatically, which get activated at the time of the crash. The eCall device can transmit voice and data directly to the nearest emergency services. The voice call allows vehicle occupants to communicate directly with the trained eCall operator. At the same time, a minimum set of data is also sent to the eCall operator receiving the voice call. The minimum set of data contains information about the incident including time, precise location, vehicle identification, eCall status (as a minimum, indication if eCall has been manually or automatically triggered) and information about a possible service provider (CEC, 2005). eCall only transmits data that is absolutely necessary when an accident occurs. Information only leaves the car in the event of a severe accident and is not stored any longer than necessary.

eCall is a European Union initiative, which aims to reduce economic losses caused by road accidents, nearly more than €160 billion per year. By equipping cars with the eCall system, they predict up to €20 billion could be saved annually. On 28 April 2015 the European Parliament voted in favor of the European eCall regulation, which came into effect from April 1, that requires all new car and light van types sold in the EU to be fitted with the emergency systems.

Cars equipped with eCall, take advantage of the precise positioning offered by GNSS (Including EGNOS and Galileo) to quickly alert emergency services in the event of a road accident, use the same location source as for their in-vehicle navigation systems.

The eCall service makes use of available mobile networks (GSM/CDMA) for making a '112 Emergency Call'. But when there is absolutely no network coverage then this call can not be placed.