New cars in Europe will be equipped with ‘eCall’ technology from 31 March 2018 onwards.

The green light for the deployment of an emergency call service (eCall) throughout the EU by 31 March 2018 has been granted by the European Parliament, following adoption of the legislation on eCall-type approval requirements.

The emergency call service – eCall – will notify the emergency services in the event of a road accident anywhere within the European Union, and it can be generated either automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors or manually by vehicle passengers.

Its aim is to advance Europeans’ protection and safety, and reduce fatalities caused by road accidents, as well as related injuries and property loss.

The latest developments show that all new car models in the European market will be mandatorily equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018 onwards. Based on the European Commission’s Impact Assessment, 100 per cent penetration should be achieved by 2035.

Gary Machado, Executive Director of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), said it’s expected to save thousands of lives around the EU annually, by improving emergency response in case of road accidents.

The EENA urges these operators to implement the ‘eCall flag’ infrastructure well in advance to ensure high quality performance and effective functioning. The eCall service can be provided either by a public authority (112-based eCall) or by a private company (Third Party Service, or TPS eCall) as part of telematics services. The TPS eCall service is allowed under some conditions.

Estimates also show that 95 per cent of cars will be equipped with both 112-based eCall and telematics services, such as TPS eCall. Legislation guarantees the eCall device under public mandate (112 eCall) will be inactive unless an eCall is activated. Nevertheless, TPS eCall is part of a broader range of services (telematics) and, thus, its dormant status cannot always be taken for granted.