As of 31 March, automobile manufacturers are required equip all new types of cars and vans with eCall, a system that automatically dials emergency services in the event of a serious road traffic accident.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association has welcomed this milestone, which has been made possible thanks to huge investments by the industry.
The European Commission estimates that it will take until 2035 before the entire European fleet is fully equipped with the devices.
“eCall has the potential to save many lives by shortening the reaction time of emergency services, “ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert explained. “This means that ambulances, fire engines and the police can intervene as quickly as possible within the ‘golden hour’ after a collision.
“The rollout of eCall is just one of many developments designed to limit the effects of road accidents and, looking towards the future, ‘active safety’ technologies – which can prevent accidents from happening at all – offer massive potential to further improve road safety, for example by automatically intervening when a driver fails to react in time.”
ACEA is also lobbying for an integrated approach to safety, combining further improvements in vehicle technology with improved driver training, better road design and maintenance, and the enforcement of existing traffic regulations.