EU cars to phone home after crashing

Brussels, Belgium – European auto makers could soon be forced to install technology that would automatically call the emergency services in the event of a crash, says the EU.

European Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to see the eCall sytem implemented by 2014, but some countries, including Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia, Malta and the UK, are holding back due to cost concerns.

The system is designed to assist people who are unconscious after an accident, and the European Commission is eager to make it a mandatory fitment in new cars. The EC estimates that the system could save around 2,500 lives annually.

“Too many people are still dying on European roads,” said Reding. “Every week I hear about road accidents where eCall would have helped. The time has come for member states and industry to move from talk to action.

“If the eCall rollout does not accelerate, the Commission stands ready to set out clear rules obliging governments, industry and emergency services to respond. I want to see the first eCall cars on our roads next year,” she added.

“At EU level we have done our part of the job. All the relevant core standards for making eCall possible are in place. Europeans should not have to wait any longer for a system that could save their lives just because their governments fail to act.”