Ruling Makes eCall Mandatory on All New LCVs

A final agreement on the topic of the eCall automatic emergency call system has been reached between the European Parliament and EU members. The result is a requirement that all new light commercial vehicles be equipped with the technology by March of the year 2018.

eCall is an innovative new technology that enables vehicles to automatically dial emergency services. It is designed to provide faster responses to crashes, thus saving lives and getting treatment to crash victims more quickly. According to MEP Olga Sehnalova, a Czech member of the S& D group, “Too many people die in accidents on Europe’s roads. The eCall system will help to improve road safety by enabling emergency services to locate and reach accident victims much faster. As a public service, eCall will be free of charge for all citizens, whatever car they drive and whatever its purchase price. The new rules will ensure that eCall works only as safety device. It will be illegal to use it to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services.” The information that eCall provides will be limited to simply class of vehicle, type of fuel it uses, time at which the accident took place and the exact location of the crash.

The final agreement involved a great deal of negotiation and ironing out of technical details, including assurances that data would not be transferred to third parties without the consent of the person concerned and that manufacturers would need to ensure that all permits are in place and all data that is gathered will be deleted. The requirement is under consideration for extension to vehicles such as buses, coaches and trucks.