Guest Blog: Whatever happened to eCall?

April 16 2015

Author: Andy Rooke

Emergency Call or eCall is coming to the UK (and the rest of Europe). The timeline, which should be ratified by June 2015, will indicate that the mandated deployment of eCall for the UK for the 999 (112) emergency call centres will be by the 1st October 2017.  New cars could start to arrive on UK roads after the 31st March 2018.

So this is a long way off, no need to worry then?

In reaching a consensus across Europe for eCall to be come law a change in the proposed regulations for the vehicle specification was agreed. The change is that third party service or private eCall (TPS eCall) can now legally installed alongside the mandated eCall. The result is that a significant number of carmakers and roadside assistance organisations are now looking to deploy TPS eCall starting from August 2015, so not so far away then!

The TPS eCall system will have a permanently connected SIM in the vehicle so the vehicle is connected.  Could/should the UK be making use of this advancement, in terms of receiving and transmitting information concerning the vehicle?

Why, is this a good thing?

Whatever type of eCall is deployed, for the first time the eCall system will give a precise location for an event on the road system, and an indication of one of the vehicles involved (This is not the case now).

So what needs to be done?

First for the UK to wake up to eCall, acknowledge that it (eCall) will happen. There are significant advantages to be levered from eCall data, which is transmitted to the emergency services. Road network managers need to be thinking about how this could be used. From an eCall you will know Time, Date and Place at least one of the vehicles involved. This is essential information for both the emergency services and road network managers.

But in order to take advantage of eCall there is a need to understand it and plan for its arrival.