The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed an agreement with the European Parliament on type-approval requirements for fitting eCall devices in new motor vehicles. The EUwide eCall system is designed to speed up emergency services in road accidents. New vehicles will have to be fitted with wireless devices to trigger a distress signal to the 112 emergency call number.
Maurizio Lupi, Italian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “Coreper today expressed support to an important dossier with a strong impact on European citizens’ everyday life. Automatically triggered in case of road accident, the eCall system will sensibly contribute to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in road accidents in the Union. Furthermore, the eCall system will help reduce congestion costs caused by traffic accidents; facilitate rescue services and increase security of rescue teams, as well as reduce SOS roadside infrastructure”.
Access to other remote emergency services
Vehicle owners keep the possibility to have access to third party services in addition to the 112- based eCall system. However, these additional services should not affect the functioning of the 112-based eCall in-vehicle system. It will also be a possible to trigger the emergency number 112 manually, but the manual control system should be installed in a way that prevents its accidental
triggering. The eCall devices will be compatible with the Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation systems, but manufacturers will also have the possibility to ensure compatibility with other navigation systems.
Enter into function
As from 31 March 2018, car manufacturers will have to equip all new models with an in-vehicle technology that will communicate with the 112-based eCall interoperable service. The infrastructure for the eCall system should be in place by 1 October 2017 and its use will be
accessible to all consumers and free of charge.
Detailed technical rules will be laid down to guarantee that there is no exchange of personal data between the eCall in-vehicle system and third party systems. This way the right to privacy and data protection will be ensured.
The Coreper decision confirms a provisional agreement reached between the Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives on 1 December 2014. The Council is expected to formalise its political agreement on 17 December and the Parliament to confirm it through a vote in second reading in early 2015.
The new regulation is part of a package of EU initiatives to ensure the deployment of the 112-based eCall service across Europe. On 8 May 2014, the Council already adopted a decision to introduce the mandatory eCall system: Council adopts decision on EU-wide eCall.