All European cars to be installed with eCall emergency assistance
From 31 of March 2018, all European sold cars will be fitted with an eCall communication system. The eCall will allow emergency services to improve safety and response time to car accidents as it registers when an accident has taken place and automatically contacts the European emergency services number.
When a car and driver are involved in an accident their GPS location and crash information will be sent to the emergency services. However the European Parliament, which approved the plan have reassured that drivers will not be tracked all the time with data protection laws still applying to the system. A person’s location and information will not be distributed illegally and the system will only give minimum data, such as the class of vehicle, the type of fuel used, the time of the accident, and the exact location.
Data protection in relation to passing on information onto third parties also applies with the MEP’s passing a draft law ensuring any date collected by emergency centres cannot be given out without explicit consent of the person concerned. ‘All new cars and light commercial vehicles sold in the European Union, regardless of price or model, must have the system installed by 31 March 2018.’
The European Commission is currently debating on whether to also introduce eCall to other vehicles, such as buses, coaches and trucks. For car manufacturers who already provide a service similar to eCall through private means, the EC-backed system, as part of this new arrangement, will facilitate the co-existence between the two systems (public eCall and eCall-supported third-party services (TPS)), provided that 112-based eCall is always automatically available should TPS fail to work and that vehicle owners may choose public eCall services rather than private ones at any time.