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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What does “eCall” mean?
Will my car have less accidents when it will be equipped with eCall?
What are the different milestones of the 2005 Road Map agreed by the eSafety partners regarding eCall?
“eCall” stands for “Pan-European in-vehicle emergency call system”. Generated either manually by vehicle occupants or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors, an eCall gives the precise coordinates of an accident’s location to the emergency services which are responsible for the follow-up assistance.
The in-vehicle eCall is generated either manually by the vehicle occupants or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors after an accident. When activated, the in-vehicle eCall device creates an emergency call carrying both voice and data directly to the nearest emergency services (normally the nearest 112 Public Safety Answering Point, PSAP). The voice call enables the vehicle occupants to communicate with the trained eCall operator. At the same time, a minimum set of data is also sent to the same eCall operator receiving the voice call.
According to the results of an analysis conducted by the European Commission supported E-MERGE project, eCall will allow for a reduction of accident response time of about 50% in rural areas and up to 40% in urban areas. When medical care for the severely injured is available earlier after the accident, the death rate and severity of trauma can be significantly reduced. Estimations for eCall indicate that, up to 2,500 lives can be saved per year in the EU25, and allow up to a 15% reduction in the severity of injuries.
Yes, eCall technology has existed for about ten years and private emergency call services exist today. However, the penetration of such services is reduced and does not work in all Member States. That is why the the European Commission promotes a minimum public pan-European eCall service that works for all vehicles in Europe. Standards are now required for the system to be interoperable throughout the EU. European Public Safety Answering Points must receive the eCall in a standardised way, and the Minimum Set of Data must contain the same information in whatever country eCall is used.
Actions for the Member States
Promoting eCall at National and International Fora
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) should produce standards (transport protocol from the vehicle through the network to the PSAP) by the end of March 2007.
The eSafety partners (European Commission, industry, public authorities and other stakeholders) have agreed to introduce eCall as standard equipment in all vehicles entering the market after September 2010 (i.e. models of the year 2011).
Considering the total impact of eCall estimated by the SEiSS study, the annual accident cost savings in Europe are estimated to be up to €22 billion and the annual congestion cost savings around €4 billion - bringing the total annual benefits up to €26 billion. Since the annual total costs of eCall are only estimated to €4.5 billion, the cost-benefit ratio for eCall is significant.
According to an analysis conducted by the European Commission supported E-MERGE project, eCall will allow for a reduction in accident response time of about 50% in rural areas and up to 40% in urban areas. As a consequence, the time between the occurrence of an accident to its clearance is reduced. eCall also decreases congestion by 15%, which will lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and thus less harm on the environment.
How can I join the eCall DG?
Those organisation interested in the eCall initiative may sign the eCall MoU. The eCall DG has completed its activities, although it may be refounded with the eCall MoU signatories. It is still possible to be a member of the eCall DG mailing list. In order to be included in this list please send your request to eCall@esafetysupport.org
eCall is either manually generated by vehicle occupants by pushing a button in the car, or automatically generated via activation of in-vehicle sensors after an accident.
“PSAP” stands for “Public Safety Answering Point”, or an emergency call centre.
What does it mean standard option?
eCall as standard option means that eCall will be available as standard equipment in all new cars as of September 2010 . Buyer may opt to request the removal of this equipment if he would like to.
Will my car have less accidents when it will be equipped with eCall?
No, but the rescue time will be drammatically reduced thanks to the geographical data concerning the accident, i.e. the position of the car. This will mean reduction of fatalities and severity of injuries.
Yes, in addition to the data link, there is always a voice connection between the vehicle and the rescue centre. Thus, further details about the accident can be provided by those vehicle occupants capable of speaking and answering questions. Nonetheless, a minimum set of data, including location data, is automatically transmitted in the eCall - even if voice communication is not possible.
As soon as an eCall is activated, a minimum set of data is sent to the eCall operator. It contains information about the incident including time, precise location (the direction in which the vehicle was travelling), vehicle identification, eCall status (indication if eCall was manually or automatically triggered) and information about a possible service provider.
Yes, a minimum set of data, including location data, is automatically transmitted through eCall even if voice communication is not possible.
As soon as an eCall is activated, the vehicle occupant is connected to an operator. Depending on the national civil protection body, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer it to one of the emergency services (ambulance, fire brigade, police).
The European Commission recommends that the Member States should ensure that language support for eCall is provided. If the user is a subscriber to a private service provider, a conference call could be established to ensure language support.
Yes, even if the vehicle occupant is unable to communicate, the minimum set of data, including location information, will be sent to the nearest PSAP.
No, this service will not be provided in the basic eCall (eCall as a public service). However, research is ongoing in order to enhance the use of the provided data.
For more details, visit the GST Rescue website
Will all vehicles be equipped with eCall technology?Yes, the eSafety partners (European Commission, industry, public authorities and other stakeholders) have agreed to introduce eCall as standard equipment in all vehicles entering the market after September 2010.
Yes. The aim of the eCall initiative is to implement a pan-European emergency service that can be used by all vehicles in Europe, regardless of their make, country of registration and location. As Europeans travel abroad in their cars more and more frequently, a pan-European interoperable service is a prerequisite for eCall.
No. As a public service working across Europe, eCall is unique. Private services exist in the US and in other countries.
Yes, eCall was tested through the European Commission supported E-MERGE project in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
112 is the single emergency telephone number for the European Union. It was established by a European Council decision in 1991. Calls to this number are routed to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the different European countries. They can be made from any phone free-of-charge and normally receive priority routing.
For more details, visit the Europa website
112 is the single emergency telephone number for the European Union. 112 calls (fixed or mobile) enhanced with location information are known as E112 calls. The Universal Service Directive adopted in 2002 stipulates the obligation that the public network operators provide the caller location to the extent technically feasible available to the emergency services.
An eCall is an E112 wireless call from the vehicle enriched with a minimum set of data (MSD) about the incident. The eCall is generated either manually by the vehicle occupants by pushing a button in the car, or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors after an accident.
At the present time, E112 only works in 50% of EU Member States.
eCall is part of the eSafety initiative led by the European Commission.
Is the Commission imposing a certain technology for the carrier of the MSD?
The Commission has requested experts from ETSI, The European Standardisation Organisation in charge of telecommunication related standards, to provide the technology best suited to comply with the eCall requirements.
When will be the communication protocol standard ready?
It is expected to be ready by mid-2008.
The key players involved in the eCall process are members of four large “constituencies”:
As a Working Group of the eSafety Forum, the eCall Driving Group has concentrated on domain-specific priority areas that are important for the implementation of the eSafety Working Group recommendations, and in line with the actions brought forward in the Commission Communication on eCall. The eCall Driving Group has been focusing on the roll-out of the pan-European vehicle-based emergency call.
It has now finalised its Recommendations for the introduction of eCall.
For more details, visit the eCall Driving Group webpage
The roll-out of eCall is the first building block of the Intelligent Car initiative, a flagship initiative of i2010, the European Commission strategy for the information society up to 2010.
• Agreement on the eCall roll-out plan, business model and standards by the end of 2006
• Full specification of the in-vehicle eCall system and start of development by mid-2007
The Memorandum of Understanding is an expression of the individual and collective commitment of the signatories to work in partnership in order to realise the shared objective of eCall realisation.
How many Member States have already signed the eCall Memorandum of Understanding?Last updated: 19 September 2007
12 Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), Switzerland and Norway have already signed the MoU.
The article 29 Working Party on Data protection, composed by the National Data Protection Authorities from EU Member States has issued a Working document on data protection and privacy implications in eCall initiative. The main conclusion is that from a data protection point of view, the eCall service is in principle admissible, provided that adequate safeguards will be taken (i.e., possibility of deactivating the service, minimum information necessary to deal with emergency sent to the PSAP)
What are the investment costs required for eCall?The necessary investments are relatively small: €100 per vehicle and up to €50,000 to upgrade a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). On the basis of this initial investment per PSAP and the cost of staff training to ensure adequate language support, the total annual cost – including the in-vehicle systems - is around €4.5 billion in the EU 25.
Implementation of the location capability for processing the E112 calls in the PSAPs also benefits eCall. The extra cost of adding eCall is considered to be relatively small, around €50,000.
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eSafety Support is a European Commission funded project coordinated by ERTICO - ITS Europe