The European Council adopted a position on type-approval requirements for EU-wide eCall devices in new automobiles on 2 March 2015. The eCall system aims to speed up emergency response services in case of traffic accidents.
By 31 March 2018, all car manufacturers selling in Europe will be required to provide their cars with an in-vehicle eCall device. In the event of an accident, the eCall system will automatically activate a distress signal to the 112-based eCall service. The system uses GNSS technologies to report the precise location of the accident.
Authorities expect emergency response with an integration of the eCall system twice as fast as response without the new system. They assume that the number of deaths in traffic accidents throughout the European Union will be reduced because first-aid can be rendered faster.
Furthermore, drivers will be able to use a manual control system to call the emergency number themselves. According to the Council, it will be impossible to activate the manual signal accidentally.
In consideration of privacy and data protection, vehicles provided with the eCall system will not be subject to constant tracking, and data concerning the location of the vehicle will be continuously erased. Additionally, data will not be transmitted to third parties without consent of the vehicle owner.