Luxembourg becomes first EU Member State ready for eCall emergency response system


Luxembourg has successfully completed the eCall conformity assessment, becoming the first European Union (EU) Member State to declare itself ready to implement the new automatic emergency call system.

The new eCall system uses the pan-European ‘112’ emergency number to receive a call that is triggered either manually by vehicle occupants or automatically, as soon as an in-vehicle sensor detects a serious collision. When activated, eCall establishes a voice connection with the relevant Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Using the voice line, a Minimum Set of Data (MSD) is sent to the PSAP operator.

The most important data is the accurate geo-location of the collision scene, and the exact make and model of the vehicle. Knowing the exact location of the collision is vital, allowing the rescue services to arrive much faster at the scene, cutting emergency response times by 50% in rural locations and 40% in urban areas. Due to this gain in time, eCall is expected to save several hundred lives in the EU each year, and to mitigate the severity of tens of thousands of injuries.

The eCall system will launch on October 1 and the technology will be mandatory for all types of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold in the EU after April 2018, and will be operational in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The Russian Federation has developed the similar ERA GLONASS system, which will be interoperable with eCall.

The eCall implementation is being overseen by the EU-funded I_HeERO project, which seeks to ensure that the Member States’ PSAPs are ready to handle 112 emergency calls by the launch date.

ERTICO-ITS Europe is responsible for the I_HeERO project’s technical implementation, and will assist countries prepare for the deployment of eCall for hazardous goods vehicles, long-distance buses and coaches, and powered two-wheeled machines (PTW).

The project will also perform PSAP Conformity Assessments and look at advancements in the management of data and next-generation digital 112 (NG112 eCall) technology. The assessment of Luxembourg’s ability to comply with the legal and technical requirements of eCall operations was performed by NavCert, the I_HeERO project’s leader of the conformity assessment activities.

I_HeERO’s technical implementation officer, Andy Rooke, from ERTICO-ITS Europe, said, “This is an important technical milestone. Luxembourg’s successful compliance assessment is excellent news, and will prompt the remaining Member States to go forward with their conformity assessments.”

To learn more about the safety of future vehicles, book a delegate pass for the Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium, taking place from October 25-26, 2017, in Michigan,USA

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).