Report numberRA-2006-103
TitleVehicle technology for automatic aid call: eCall
SubtitleState of affairs of the European eCall initiative related to the automatic aid call.
AuthorsTobias Denys
Gerwin Zomer
Joost Schafrat
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Traffic Safety 2002-2006
Number of pages24
Document languageDutch
Partner(s)Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek
Work packageOther: Vehicle technology

Each year, more than 40 000 people die in the European Union (EU-15) as a result of road accidents and 1 700 000 are injured. The total cost to society has been estimated at more than € 26 billion a year. The European Commission set itself a target to reduce the number of fatalities by 50% by 2010. Much is expected from intelligent transport (safety) systems in order to realise this objective.


One of the systems that is expected to contribute significantly to these objectives is eCall. eCall is a system that broadcasts an emergency message after an accident. This message can be sent either manually or automatically. The message contains a minimum set of data with information about the location of the incident and details on the type of accident, which enables rescue services to respond quickly and in an efficient way. Apart from this basic function eCall is designed to include a wide range of other services, including commercial applications.


It can be concluded from several studies that the eCall system can have a positive impact on the consequences of accidents. The number of fatalities could be reduced by 5-15%, which corresponds to 2,500 to 7,500 fatalities that can be avoided (based on accident statistics from 2002). The number of heavily injured people could be reduced by 10-15%, which corresponds to a reduction by 30,000 to 45,000. In addition, eCall could reduce the accident-related congestion by 10-20%.


In 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formulated. Seven countries already signed this MoU. The MoU intends to have the eCall service operational in 2009 and includes recommendations for Member States to sign the Memorandum.

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


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