Car accidents cause the deaths of approximately 38,000 people and injuries to about 1.5 million others each year in Europe. Indeed, those are terrible numbers.
The evolution of both active and passive safety systems has improved.
Still, it appeared that a specialized system was required to prevent increased fatalities and serious injuries.
This system was first implemented in 2018.
A system that has been required to be installed in all type-approved vehicles across Europe as of April 2018 to reduce fatalities by immediately calling the emergency telephone number 112 in the event of an accident.
Even though a regulation passed by the European Union in 2015 suggested that installing this system in all automobiles might be possible, the actual implementation of something of this nature is typically very slow.
To our good fortune, the eCall system had already been implemented.
Even though it is common knowledge that almost everyone owns a cell phone and that it is possible to make emergency calls with a cell phone even if the phone is locked, occupants of a vehicle may not have the opportunity to pick up their mobile phones if the car is involved in an accident.
It is for this reason that the incorporation of this system is of the utmost significance.
In the event of an accident, the eCall system is designed to place an emergency call to the appropriate authorities immediately.
Two distinct methods can be utilized to activate it.
The system is brought into operation in the first scenario whenever the airbag is used.
In the event of an accident in which the airbags deploy, the system will send an immediate and instantaneous distress message to the 112 switchboards.
This message will be sent through an intelligent network that recognizes it as a priority message.
The message will indicate the precise location of the vehicle, the type of vehicle, the exact number of occupants (which it calculates at the time through the fastened seat belts and other systems), the direction in which it was going (which is particularly important on highways), the (important for firefighters).
All of this data is transmitted using a message known as MSD.
The call center for 112 will try to get in touch with the people inside the vehicle and see if they can be reached.
Regardless of whether or not the occupants can communicate, the location of the accident is quickly determined so that emergency personnel can be dispatched (fire department, ambulance, police).
An incident report is also sent to the Traffic Management Center, which enables regulatory measures to be activated using variable message panels located along roads and highways.
The system can also be activated manually by pressing the button above the interior rearview mirror. This is the alternative method of starting the procedure.
You not only can notify others of an accident that you have experienced, but you also have the potential to notify others of accidents that others have experienced.
It is essential to remember that assisting other individuals who have been involved in an accident is obligatory.
Thanks to this system’s implementation, the emergency services’ response time to the scene of an accident has been significantly accelerated.
And there has been a significant reduction in fatalities and permanent injuries.
The injured can be reduced and stabilized in a shorter time, and the police can more effectively manage the situation when there are traffic problems.
According to preliminary research conducted by motoring federations and the European Commission, the eCall system cuts the amount of time needed to respond to an emergency by half in rural areas and by forty percent in urban areas.
It is estimated that 2,500 lives are saved annually, preventing 15% of serious injuries.
The measures were met with support from organizations representing accident victims.
It is with great regret that we must inform you that it is neither currently possible nor planned to retrofit eCall technology into vehicles produced before April 2018.
In these circumstances, we must exercise an even higher level of caution while driving and waiting to trade in our truck for a new one.
The eCall system is currently undergoing testing on motorcycles to eventually put it into use at some point in the future.
To do so, the drivers will need to activate the call by wearing sensors on their jackets or helmets.
It is always challenging to implement new safety components, but doing so within the European Union, where so many different interests are at play, makes the process even more difficult.
Already, the eCall system has been the source of several discussions regarding its deployment, all of which, as we know from experience, have lasted for years.
The ultimate objective was and continues to be to bring the number of fatalities caused by traffic down to zero. Vision Zero is a project that has been implemented on a national level in Sweden.
The goal of this project is to reduce the number of serious accidents that occur through the use of technical and administrative means.
However, it is abundantly clear that this target is far from being achieved.
There are far too many aspects to consider, and active electronic systems do not comprehensively solve this problem.
One illustration of this would be the fact that in the past, the most significant issue that arose on the roads was alcohol consumption; however, as the number of accidents that were brought on by alcohol consumption decreased, other problems emerged, such as the distractions caused by cell phones.
Because of this, the European Union has scaled back some of its initial goals.
The primary objective, which was to cut the number of deaths in half between 2010 and 2020, has now been pushed back to 2030.
However, they are still working toward eliminating deaths by the year 2050. Will this goal be accomplished? Stay tuned.
The eCall system is risk-free and has proven to be extremely helpful in reducing the number of severe injuries and fatalities.
So far, so good.
Nevertheless, the problem is that a public agency drives it, and public agencies are almost always slower than private companies.
By the middle of the 1990s, the United States already had the technology to install geolocation systems in automobiles.
The businesses used these advantages as a competitive advantage to sell more cars.
There was not a singular focus on improving driver safety.
General Motors and Ford were the first to implement such a system: General Motors introduced OnStar, which first appeared in the 1996 Lincoln Continental, and Ford introduced the RESCU system, which required the driver to push a button manually.
Both of these systems were available in the 1996 Lincoln Continental. 1997 was the year that BMW started putting such systems into production in Europe.
However, the reception switchboards were not open to the public.
After that, the EU concluded that there should be a public emergency system for automobiles.
And it did so with the most advanced technology available when the project was drafted.
However, eCall would become obsolete relatively quickly due to the rapid pace at which technology was advancing.
Even though it uses digital technology and sends data in bits, the GSM messaging system is still a voice-based platform.
After being converted into tones, the bits are transmitted over a voice channel. Given the current state of our capabilities, this system currently operates at a slightly slower speed.
The problem, however, is that GSM lines will be phased out shortly because the frequencies they use are required for other systems, such as LTE and 5G. In Russia, they use the ERA-GLONASS system, which, as of 2015, has been using UMTS networks. This means the system is already 3G, one step up from eCall.
Some businesses, including Rohde & Schwarz, one of the referents in radiolocation equipment, are researching and developing a brand-new, significantly enhanced system known as recall.
One advantage is that it uses one of the software modules that conform to the most recent standard for LTE telephony networks.
The LTE IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) makes room for the essential functions of eCall and has the potential to offer more options for expanded capabilities.
When it comes to the LTE-based version, tone signals are a thing of the past.
On the other hand, the modern system cannot establish a voice connection, which is necessary for any system that handles emergency calls.
The data will be the same as eCall’s.
Still, other data, such as the vital signs of the vehicle’s occupants, can be sent via smartwatches, and a picture of the situation can be sent via cameras.
The data will be the same as eCall’s. The 112 switchboards could unlock doors and turn the car’s ignition off.
Will this brand-new, more sophisticated technology being utilized by the EU? It is essential to remember that making decisions is always a slow process, even though it would be desirable.
As a result, concluding may take several years, during which time the NGeCall technology may have already become obsolete.
As a result, we will observe if the automobile manufacturers will move forward with the initiative to have a safety advertising bonus.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the eCall technology won’t become archaic soon.
Otherwise, automobiles will be without their most effective passive safety system.
If there were 2,500 fewer deaths, then there would be 2,500 people who could go back to being with their families.
Even though the number of fatal accidents may appear clinical and unimportant on television, we still need to work every day to improve our safety systems because every life is essential.
Will it be possible for us to achieve our goal of 0 deaths by the year 2050? Whether we are more pessimistic or optimistic about our chances of success, we must keep working toward our goals.
In addition, an eCall system is a handy tool.
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