Connected Vehicle

MEPs and EU conclude the agreement on eCall with amended laws and policies

Published: December 05, 2014 | Brussels, Belgium

The Members of European Parliament(MEPs) and EU member have reached a final agreement on the eCall automatic emergency call system that will see all new cars and LCVs equipped with the technology from 31 March 2018.  The proposed eCall system would use “112”  to call the emergency services automatically, enabling them to reach crash scenes faster. 

EU_eCall_MEPs

Following are some of the details finalized as part of the agreement:-

No vehicle tracking

 Under the agreed deal, the automatic call would give the emergency only a basic minimum data such as the class of vehicle, the type of fuel used, the time of the accident and the exact location. ETSC has relases a eCall position paper prior to this agreement.

Data privacy

MEPs also amended the draft law to ensure that the data gathered by emergency centres or their service partners must not be transferred to third parties without explicit consent of the person concerned, the “data subject”. Manufacturers will also have to ensure that the eCall technology design permits full and permanent deletion of data gathered. Clear information about the processing of eCall data would have to be included in the car owner’s manual and available online, MEPs added.

Alternative systems ( For e.g. GM’s OnStar or Ford’s 911 Assist)

As some manufacturers are already offering eCall-type services to drivers through private call centres, the deal provides for the co-existence of 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.

Deadline

All new models of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles will have to be equipped with the eCall system no later than 31 March 2018. In the following three years, the European Commission will assess whether eCall should be extended to other vehicles, such as buses, coaches or trucks, says the agreement text.

Next steps

The agreement, approved by 30 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions, now needs to be formally approved by all EU member states and finally Parliament as a whole, probably in March 2015.

 ‘Getting emergency services to the scene of a crash quickly is crucial to preventing deaths. So this technology will save lives. However, it’s regrettable that it will be several years before we see all new cars fitted with the system and that other vehicles aren’t covered by the legislation yet. These are missed opportunities to extend the safety benefits further, with little or no justification.’

–Antonio Avenoso, ED, European Transport Safety Council

Source: European Parliament

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