Written by : sshields
Published on:: 12/12/2016
One of the latest safety features to become mandatory in new cars from 2018 is eCall. Many cars, including Citroens, Peugeots and Volvos, already have some kind of eCall system, but what exactly is it?
The concept is actually really simple; if you have a crash, the eCall system automatically contacts the emergency services and uses GPS (like a sat-nav) to pinpoint your location, even down to which side of the carriageway you’re on, allowing police, fire and ambulance services to respond as quickly as possible. The system will activate automatically if the airbags deploy, but there is also a button which can be pressed to activate the system as well.
Having such a safety system is hugely beneficial in cutting response times by up to 40%, and road deaths by 10% so far. If you drive your car to mainland Europe, language barriers need not be an issue, as eCall uses the telephone number 112, which is the international emergency number.
There are a couple of downsides to such a system: firstly, the potential for false alarms, as the button to activate the eCall system can be pushed at any time (who’s never been tempted to push a red button with no idea what it does?). Also, emergency call centres would have to adapt their technology for eCall, which could cost up to half a million pounds per site.
Nevertheless, this technology has been proven to save lives and has the potential to minimise disruption on Britain’s roads.