eCall is the automatic emergency call system of the public service, that enables a car involved in an accident to instantly call the emergency services by giving its precise position, whether or not its occupants are conscious or not. The main objective is to save lives, and to warn others in case of an accident or dangerous situation … but it doesn’t stop there!
eCall: helping the American police?
In the United States, a woman tried to drive off when she was involved in an accident. And guess who prevented her from doing so? Her car! How? The system contacted the paramedics by communicating the GPS coordinates of the vehicle. The system is designed to trigger as soon as there is a collision. She did leave the scene but the police nevertheless went to the driver’s home. There, they found the damaged car and saw that the driver was already on her 2nd accident…of the day!
Hurricanes and the American eCall: what’s the connection?
The device from the General Motors group called OnStar helped save many lives during hurricane Harvey. How? Simply because, many drivers used their car’s OnStar calling system to contact the emergency services. Over 18,500 calls were issued, consequently, the emergency services were totally submerged. To get some extra help, the American Red Cross called the manufacturer to report the disaster with the emergency services. General Motors’ Assistance platforms subsequently dealt with surplus calls from the fire department.
Technology therefore helped the police and saved lives, which was the prime goal of eCall. The European press is likely to relate similar cases in the coming months.
In terms of solving a police investigation, such as the hit-and-run mentioned above, the subject remains more sensitive in Europe. In fact, European Parliamentary Members insisted that the data issued by the vehicle remain personal. They have therefore strengthened the data protection clause in the draft legislation.
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