The European Parliament and EU member states have agreed on mandatory installation of ‘eCall’, a system for sending automated emergency calls from cars in the event of a crash, by 2018.
Under the agreement all new models of car launched in the EU from 31 March 2018 will have to be fitted with the system. Separate legislation, which has already been agreed, requires member states to put in place the infrastructure to handle eCalls.
And a German study, "STORM" (Stuttgart Transport Operation by Regional Management), showed almost 50% rescue time improvement in rural areas, with a net gain of around 10 minutes.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “Getting emergency services to the scene of a crash quickly is crucial to preventing deaths. So this technology will save lives.
“However, it’s regrettable that it will be several years before we see all new cars fitted with the system and that other vehicles aren’t covered by the legislation yet. These are missed opportunities to extend the safety benefits further, with little or no justification.”
Following the political agreement reached last week, the rules are now subject to formal votes in the European Parliament plenary and by all EU member states, probably by March 2015.