What Is eCall?
e-Call is a European emergency-call system for vehicles that provides rapid assistance in traffic accidents. Its goal is to save lives, mitigate injury, and reduce property damage. Here's how it works: When an accident happens, an emergency call or eCall is activated automatically via the vehicle's sensors. The system then autonomously phones the European emergency service 112 call center. A phone line is established to the emergency center — sending details of the accident's exact location via GPS. Next, the emergency dispatch center sends the appropriate assistance to the location.
As of 2018, eCall systems are mandatory in all cars and vans sold in the European Union. The basic idea is to accelerate emergency response times to reduce fatalities, injuries, etc. According to Thales Group, the system can speed response time by 40% in urban areas and 50% in suburban areas. It can also reduce the number of fatalities by at least 4% and the number of severe injuries by 6%.
From a reliability standpoint, the eCall system must be flexible because when an accident happens, power wires from the battery can be severed, and electronics can be disconnected or damaged. Therefore, there needs to be backup power sources, like small batteries, for the eCall system to operate effectively and in harsh environmental conditions.