112 eCall becomes mandatory for new types of vehicles
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As of yesterday, the 112-based emergency system – eCall – has becomes mandatory throughout the EU for new types of passenger cars and light-duty vehicles.
The European Commission said that it is estimated that 112 eCall can speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside and can reduce the number of fatalities by at least 4% and the number of severe injuries by 6%.
The Commission explained that eCall is activated automatically as soon as in-vehicle sensors and/or processors (e.g. airbag) detect a serious crash.
The system then automatically dials Europe’s single emergency number 112 in the event of a serious road accident and communicates by use of Europe’s satellite navigation system Galileo the vehicle’s location to the emergency services.
It will establish a telephone link to the appropriate emergency call centre and sends details of the accident to the rescue services, including the time of incident, the accurate position of the crashed vehicle and the direction of travel.
The eCall system – can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car, if for example you are witness to a serious accident – it also only transmits essential information and does not store or record data, The European Commission said.