On September 82011 the European Union announced their intent to introduce the eCall emergency call system in all new cars by 2015. In a presentation to the European Parliament Neelie Kroes EU Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda emphasized that “the technology itself is available” and demonstrated the manufacturer-independent ATOP eCall solution from NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) to proof her point.

NXP has focused on introducing its Automotive Telematics Onboard Unit Platform (ATOP) which makes eCall an affordable option for everyday vehicles. In contrast to existing solutions ATOP is not a proprietary system. Instead ATOP takes advantage of existing emergency infrastructure and established standards connecting drivers with the 112 emergency number valid throughout Europe rather than a call center specific to a particular manufacturer. At less than €100 the ATOP eCall units are more affordable than previous solutions to date and its smaller size makes it easy to integrate into a vehicle’s on-board electronics. As a result it is now just as practical to install it in a compact car as in a luxury car – even retrofitting it in older cars is simple and affordable. ATOP has been in series production since 2010.

“With last week’s announcement by the European Commission an important milestone has been reached on the road to making a Europe-wide eCall emergency system a reality” said Kurt Sievers senior vice president and general manager of NXP Semiconductors’ Automotive business unit. “Successful implementation at both the national and international levels will require cooperation between key players at every step of the rescue chain. We are pleased to be part of the HeERO project which is carrying out the important work of defining and discussing key issues for eCall on the road ahead.”

ATOP has been proven in field trials including a major pan-European eCall Trial which took place at the end of last year. In November 2010 NXP and its partners BMW IBM Deutsche Telekom Allianz OrtungsServices Dekra and several European automobile clubs campaigned for the introduction of the eCall system with the pan-European eCall Trial which included a spectacular finish line event in Brussels (see video) thereby signaling their support for the EU initiative to launch the European-wide emergency call system.  Over a three-week period three BMWs equipped with the ATOP system from NXP transmitted regular test eCalls to demonstrate the availability and suitability of the technology for cross-border use. More than 15000 signals were transmitted over a 10000 mile-long course in 16 countries. Further information on ATOP and eCall is available at here.   
Earlier this year NXP received the 2010 Sabre Award for best European PR campaign in telecommunications and the 2011 IPRA Golden World Award for best international PR campaign in recognition of its efforts to raise awareness for eCall along with its partners.

Making connected mobility a reality
To make Europe’s streets safer politics and industry have already started to work on future steps beyond eCall. Forward hazard warning and traffic sign recognition are just some of the many possibilities that will eventually revolutionize driving experience and road safety. To make this a reality NXP has recently demonstrated – as the first semiconductors supplier globally – an automotive-ready car-to-car communication platform on public roads in the Netherlands. Car-to-car communication is based on NXP’s many years of expertise and market leadership in broadcast reception and software-defined radio. With its technology solutions in telematics NFC broadcast reception car-to-car communication and remote car management NXP connects the car and takes the pole position in secure and wireless connected mobility.

For further press information please contact  Birgit Ahlborn

Neelie Kroes presenting ATOP at European Parliament with Patrick Pype (Director European Affairs at NXP)

eCall test cars for pan-European Trial

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Original Publication Date: Tue 20 Sep 2011