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September 19, 2011

European Union in Brussels to Introduce the eCall Emergency Call System by 2015
By Calvin Azuri
TMCnet Contributor

To bring down emergency response time in road accidents, the European Union in Brussels last week said that it is planning on introducing the eCall emergency call system by 2015 for all new cars across 27 European Union member states. All new cars in Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, will be fitted with the European-wide automatic eCall system. Each year, 2,500 lives are lost to road accidents in Europe. In his presentation to the European Parliament, Neelie Kroes, EU Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said that "the technology itself is available," and demonstrated the ATOP eCall solution from NXP Semiconductors (News - Alert) N.V.

The international HeERO project (Harmonized eCall European Pilot) will be organizing a two-day international symposium in Berlin next week to provide information on eCall and its implementation.

NXP, developer of Automotive Telematics Onboard Unit Platform (ATOP) will collaborate with top representatives from the government, the industry and other enterprises to present its ATOP eCall solution. Additionally, the company will also highlight vital learnings gleaned from pan-European eCall trial which it carried out last year with BMW, IBM, Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), Allianz OrtungsServices, DEKRA, as well as four other European automobile clubs.

In a release, Kurt Sievers, senior vice president and general manager of NXP Semiconductors' Automotive business unit said that "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. 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."

On September 21, the project members of HeERO and participating organizations and agencies will demonstrate the eCall system emergency services chain. The chain will include the different steps in optimization of the emergency services framework such as transmission of message from the vehicle, matching information about the vehicle with traffic records in Flensburg, transmitting of the data to the emergency dispatch center and referral to subsequent rescue service. Additional optimization steps such as emergency call prioritizations across telephone networks will also be demonstrated.

Representatives of the government at the demonstration include Martin Friewald from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Jiri Zak who is Deputy Minister of Transport, Czech Republic, Joerg Bode serving as Minister for Economics, Labor, and Transport for Lower Saxony, Germany, and Gzim Ocakoglu who heads the Department of DG Mobility and Transport, Belgium.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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