On Thursday 7 November, the ERTICO partnership hosted a captivating debate in Brussels on the future of automotive Emergency Call (known as eCall in Europe), a system that automatically alerts emergency services if a vehicle is involved in an accident.

European eCall has the backing of the European Commission and will be a legal requirement for all new types of cars and light trucks sold in the European Union from October 2015.

The aim of this forum however, was to look beyond this, and to explore ways in which Emergency Call may be integrated into a wider telematics platform. How could other services take advantage of this in-vehicle technology? The title of the debate was therefore chosen to represent the broadest global view point on the various types of emergency call operated worldwide, not merely the newly emerging systems in Russia and Europe.

Hosted and moderated by the Senior Project Manager Andy Rooke (ERTICO – ITS Europe) who manages two HeERO eCall projects – the topic attracted a great deal of interest from across the ITS industry, and more than 70 representatives from various sectors arrived in Brussels for the event.

Opening the forum, ERTICO’s CEO Hermann Meyers set-off a lively program of presentations and debates, and as you might expect from such an experienced audience, many participants contributed with their own thoughts, ideas and questions.

The event was also broadcast live online, allowing those who couldn’t travel to join the debate, and many more contributed online and on Twitter adding a valuable interactive element to an already engaging forum.

A summary of each presentation is provided below:

Delivering the eCall service – Marcel Visser Gemalto
There is a defined role for equipment certification and standards.
Privacy is an issue that should be taken into account when designing the service, and users should be fully informed and the management of personal data should be transparent.
The focus now should be on how to integrated existing services.

GNSS enabled emergency call and other services – Fiammetta Diani, GSA
SMART Phones will gain in prominence (1 billion GNSS devices by 2020).
Testing facilities for Galileo are open, eCall modules manufacturers welcome from Jan 2014 onwards.
There will be 18 satellites by 2014 and 26 when the system is complete.
More legislative changes toward the mandated use of GNSS services will occur (Digital Tacograph).

Exploiting Emergency call from a public authority perspective
Jan van Hattem, Dutch Ministry of Transport and Bernard Flury-Herard,
French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

Citizens are leading the demand for a change in media usage, especially for 112.
France has recommend that Public Authorities do not accept manual eCall.
Public expectations for Emergency Call need to be managed through extensive public education.

Advancing eCall to Development – Global Perspective – Miki Yoshikuni, Fujitsu Ten (Europe)
eCall Testing is required as the service “Emergency call” is beign deployed world-wide.
In Vehicle Systems are expensive, therefore manufacturers are seeing ways to reduce the costs or develop services to offset cost.

How does the users see the connected vehicle – Bernfried Coldewey, ADAC
eCall is just one of many services running on an In-Vehicle System.
We need standardisation of vehicle communication interfaces.
The consumer should have free choice between services and this is something ERTICO could promote.
There is a desire for data autonomy: Consumers want to control what happens to their vehicle usage data.

C-ITS and emergency call from a future connectivity perspective – Anders Fagerholt
The EC needs to define exactly what an open platform is.
112 is LTE ready.
eCall LTE work is progressing.
5G is coming!
Existing technology 3G 4G has demonstrated to be capable of C2I and C2C communication

Opportunities related to insurance based ITS services

A: Josep Laborda, RACC
eCall will be key for deploying the connected car.
Insurance based telematics is an interesting opportunity.
In relation to the “Open Platform”, certification of a Service Provider is required to ensure the vehicle is functioning.
Pay As You Drive (PAYD) and Pay How You Drive (PHYD) turns bad drivers into good safe drivers!

B: Thomas Hallauer, PTOLEMUS
User Based Insurance (UBI) is a way to bring insurance premiums down.
Insurance a highly competitive and secretive market
Insurance premiums are decreasing
Insurance claim costs are increasing
Claim fraud is increasing?.
The above facts are a driver for change
eCall offers tangible value for insurers.
False Positives are an issue faced both by Public Authorities (PSAPs) and insurance companies in relation to emergency calls.

ERTICO would like to thank everyone who attended, and as the technology and potential for eCall develops, we look forward to hosting future debates and workshops on topic.

For more infomration please contact Ian Bearder, Communication officer at ERTICO – ITS Europe

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