03.07.12

European Parliament backs eCall by 2015

The European Parliament has today voted in favour of the mandatory introduction of eCall by 2015, while supporting an open platform which would allow for open competition between different service providers.

“MEPs have today voted overwhelmingly in the interests of the consumer and road safety. It is now the Commission’s turn to act”, said Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I Director General, following the vote.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office, based in Brussels, represents 36 million motorists via its 106 Automobile Clubs.

Legislation necessary now:  The FIA backs the call of co-rapporteurs Olga Sehnalová (S&D, CZ) and and Dieter-Lebrecht Koch (EPP, DE) for the report to become a model for a legislative proposal by the Commission as soon as possible. “Only legislative action by the European Commission will ensure that the emergency service infrastructure of Member States is ready for 2015,” said Mr Bangsgaard.

According to estimates, eCall would save up to 2,500 lives a year and reduce the severity of injuries by 10 % to 15 %. “eCall will accelerate emergency services, save lives and reduce injuries”, said Mr Bangsgaard.  Currently, only 0.7% of all passenger vehicles in the EU are equipped with automatic emergency call systems.

Data protection: The FIA also supports the resolution’s commitment to providing an eCall service based on strict data protection rules: “The report is clear that the main purpose of the system is to improve incident management. eCall will not be used to monitor a person’s movements or location unless that person has been involved in an accident,” said Mr Bangsgaard.

Open Platform: The FIA Region I Director General also welcomed the report’s call for “…an eCall in-vehicle system which is accessible free of charge and without discrimination to all stakeholders such as providers of car aftermarket products and services, equipment suppliers, repair shops and independent service providers, roadside assistance and related services”. He said this will bring real benefits to consumers.

The report also recommends “…that the eCall system is based on an interoperable and open-access platform for possible future in-vehicle applications or services”. According to the report, this will encourage innovation and boost the competitiveness of the European information technology industry on global markets, while also stressing that any such applications and services must remain optional.

What is eCall?

eCall, an electronic safety system that automatically calls emergency services in the case of a serious car accident, is ready to be deployed across Europe. Even if you are unconscious, the system will inform rescue workers of the crash site's exact location, and the ambulance will be on its way within minutes. eCall will save up to 2,500 lives in Europe every year, and reduce the severity of injuries and trauma in tens of thousands of cases.

When will eCall be implemented in the EU?

The technical development of eCall is completed. The Commission is reinforcing efforts to speed up the deployment of this life-saving technology, with the aim of having a fully functional EU-wide service in place by 2015. According to the European Commission, the parallel action of Member States, car manufacturers, telecom operators and emergency centres is now needed to ensure that this system will seamlessly function throughout Europe by this time.

Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office

FIA Region I represents 106 Touring and Motoring Clubs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its Brussels office, which total more than 36 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.

The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.

 

Notes to Editors:

Draft Report on the regulatory introduction of eCall (2012/2056(INI))

The rapporteurs of the report are Olga Sehnalová (S&D) and Dieter-Lebrecht Koch (EPP). The own-initiative report was voted upon by the European Parliament in plenary session today in Strasbourg (3 July 2012).

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