Today the European Commission proposed a Regulation on installing eCall systems in new cars. It envisages equipping all new vehicle types in the EU with automatic emergency call systems from October 2015 onwards.
Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented: “The new systems can improve road safety. The automotive industry has therefore driven the development of eCall forward. The Commission has fortunately not restricted itself to regulating only the installation of eCall in vehicles. It also proposed a decision by the Parliament and the Council giving the Member States the task of creating the necessary infrastructure. This is right and proper, because the eCall systems can be effective only if the state emergency centres also have the appropriate equipment throughout Europe. The Council of Ministers should definitely follow this proposal from the Commission.
However, the Commission’s proposal did not take into consideration the fact that many vehicles are already equipped with a private emergency call system offered by the manufacturer. In the future these systems from the OEMs must remain available as alternatives to eCall, which dials the emergency number 112, because the systems already proved their benefit in practice long ago, and offer the customers additional advantages. For example, they also enable customers to communicate with the rescue control centre in their mother tongue when visiting other countries.
Furthermore, it is essential that the industry has sufficient time to develop and test the new systems in the vehicles, in preparation for the introduction of eCall.”