MEPs say ‘eCall’ system should be available even if a car has the manufacturer’s system fitted.
All new vehicles should be fitted with a system that automatically calls the emergency services in the event of a collision, according to a report presented today to the European Parliament’s transport and internal market committees.
The report, drawn up by Olga Sehnalová, a Czech centre-left MEP, and Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, a German centre-right MEP, said the technology should be required even if the vehicle is fitted with a system that calls a private dispatcher.
The ‘eCall’ proposal is stalled in the European Commission because of a conflict over whether there should be an exemption for vehicles that call private dispatchers. Car-makers are concerned that the investments they have made in their own emergency-call centres will be rendered obsolete.
But the MEPs’ report says that private dispatchers currently have a market penetration of less than 0.4% in the EU, and none of them provide EU-wide coverage.
“Some of the services introduced have been dismantled due to market failures, leaving the user without in-vehicle emergency call service during the lifetime of the vehicle,” the report says. It adds that the eCall system should be available as a back-up in case the private dispatcher no longer exists or is no longer available.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA), an international drivers’ association, praised the report. “We welcome the introduction of mandatory eCall in all new cars, as we firmly believe this system will help save lives on European roads,” said FIA regional president Werner Kraus.
In: Connectivity & Automation