eCall- Saving lives via Satellite

eCall is an automatic emergency call system, in which apparatus sends emergency call, including the location data of the vehicle, to the accident command centre. This concept was initially presented in 1999 by European civil servant Luc Tytgat, during the launch of the European Commission's Galileo project. 

eCall- Saving lives via Satellite
ecall-saving-lives-via-satellite

eCall- Saving lives via Satellite

eCall brings rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision in the European Union, and now it is mandatory in all new cars sold within the European Union since April 2018. The EU’s economic loss caused by road accidents is more than 160 billion euros per year. The use of the eCall system will save up to 20 billion euros annually. 

This concept was initially presented in 1999 by European civil servant Luc Tytgat, during the launch of the European Commission's Galileo project. 

eCall is an automatic emergency call system, in which apparatus sends emergency call, including the location data of the vehicle, to the accident command centre. 

The system consists of sensors and intelligent algorithms if the vehicle is impacted, the sensors measure the impact forces and classify them on a scale; this prevents the false alarming. The eCall plug is able to tell the difference between a jolt due to the uneven road, a fender- bender in a parking lot and a real accident. eCall can also be made manually by a push button, in case you witness an accident. 

When the eCall is done, a voice connection between the vehicle and the emergency call centre is created, which helps in providing any additional details of the accident.

Also Read: How does the GNSS work?

Arriving at the accident scene at the right time save not only lives but also allows faster clearance of crash sites. This helps in reducing secondary accidents and congestion times. 

Participants 

A GSA ( European GNSS Agency)-JRC (Joint Research Centre- European Commission's science service) testing campaign was conducted for eCall devices, in which device manufacturers provided samples for confirming the assessment. 

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association ( ACEA) and ERTICO ( an Intelligent Transportation System) supported the project and influenced the development of eCall standards. 

How it works

The eCall device installed in a vehicle automatically dials the emergency service number in case of a serious road accident. It wirelessly sends airbag deployment and impact sensor information. GPS or Galileo coordinates to the local emergency agencies. eCall is able to reduce emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and by 50% in rural areas. 

Also Read: Know all about GNSS

Now many companies are taking an interest in it for providing in-vehicle systems, wireless data delivery, and public safety answering point systems. Proprietary eCall solutions based on SMS already exist like in BMW, PSA and Volvo cars, but now there is a scope of other telematic services also, e.g.:  route advisories and traffic information. 

Similar initiatives are also there, for e.g., In Russia, there is a fully interoperable system called ERA-GLONASS. In North America, the same service is available by GM via their OnStar service.