The EU’s transport and internal market committees have adopted a report from MEPs that says all new cars sold in the EU from 2015 should be able to dial the emergency services automatically when they are involved in a serious accident. This recommendation isn’t legally binding, although the European Commission is expected to announce proposed legislation later this year.
Vehicles with ‘eCall’ mobile technology would automatically call the Europe-wide emergency number 112 when a crash is detected (e.g. when airbags are deployed). The system would then send information about its location to the nearest emergency control centre.
Only 0.7% of all passenger vehicles in the EU are currently thought to be equipped with automatic emergency call systems. Deploying eCall would save an estimated 2,500 lives per year while adding less than €100 to the price of a new car.