A few days ago, the European Parliament voted to require that emergency call (eCall) devices that automatically alert emergency responders to car crashes be installed in all new vehicles by March 2018. Qualcomm strongly supports this action, as eCall technology has the potential to save up to 2,500 lives each year by dramatically cutting down on response times and ensuring that emergency responders are given immediate data about the crashes to which they are called.
eCall works by sending critical data such as vehicle type, fuel used, number of passengers, and time and precise location of the accident to emergency responders in the event of a crash anywhere within the 28 member states of the European Union. The system, which uses an in-band data modem to transmit the data outlined above over the voice path to a public safety answering point, has been designed with data privacy in mind—eCall is unable to track a vehicle not involved in a crash.
In addition to being data-secure, eCall is a cost-effective public service that will be standard on all vehicles sold within the EU after 2018, regardless of selling price. There is no subscription fee—eCall will simply work, bringing emergency services to crash victims as quickly as possible. As traffic increases across our borders and between various EU member states in the Digital Single Market, eCall will prove especially valuable overcoming language and location-knowledge barriers that sometimes complicate efforts to locate those who have been in an accident.
Here at Qualcomm, we’ve been working on eCall and its underlying technologies for over ten years. We are passionate about technology, and we are driven by the positive impact our work will bring to the world around us. We applaud the European Parliament, European Commission and the European Union overall for this forward thinking measure that will use cutting edge technology to save thousands of lives.