Automatic Emergency Call (eCall) is a system giving an automatic message to an emergency call centre in case of a crash of the vehicle. Legislation for this technology is currently under discussion within the European Commission and should be fully defined for 2012. Usually when a car is involved in a crash either the driver when he or she is still capable or a passenger or bystander has to call the emergency call centre through the 112 number to report the accident and to report the location of the crashed vehicle. In case of a serious crash in a remote area, valuable time may go by before the crash is reported. Also bystanders or passengers have difficulty in reporting the exact location of the crashed vehicle.
The eCall system installed in the vehicle can overcomes these problems by sending an automatic message in a European standardized format, containing the location of the vehicle on the basis of an in-built GPS location device. The message will go to the 'Public Safety Answering Point' (fire brigade, police or ambulance call centre), where a decision is made on the appropriate response to the alert. As time is of the essence in this kind of emergency, this process will save valuable time. The Public Safety Answering Points are not yet set and equipped to receive the message in the European standardized format in all European Countries.