The Council adopted on 2 March 2015 its position on type-approval requirements for fitting eCall devices in new motor vehicles. The EU-wide eCall system is designed to speed up emergency services in road accidents.
New vehicles will have to be fitted with wireless devices to trigger automatically a distress signal to the 112 emergency call number.
The eCall system will contribute to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in road accidents in the Union. It is expected that it will halve emergency response times, resulting in lives saved and injuries treated promptly.
From 31 March 2018, car manufacturers will have to equip all new models with an in-vehicle technology that will communicate with the 112-based eCall interoperable service.
The infrastructure for the eCall system should be in place by 1 October 2017. Its use will be accessible to all consumers and free of charge.
Vehicle owners will still be able to access to third party services in addition to the 112-based eCall system. However, these additional services should not affect the functioning of the 112-based eCall in-vehicle system.
It will also be possible to trigger the emergency number 112 manually, with the manual control system installed in a way that prevents it being triggered accidentally.
The eCall devices will be compatible with the Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation systems, but manufacturers will also be able to ensure compatibility with other navigation systems.
Vehicles will not be subject to constant tracking and data on previous locations of the vehicle will be continuously erased. Data will not be communicated to third parties without the consent of the vehicle owner.
Detailed technical rules will prevent the exchange of personal data between the eCall in-vehicle system and third party systems. This means that the right to privacy and data protection will be ensured.
The Council's position in first reading follows an agreement reached with the European Parliament last December. The Parliament is expected to confirm the Council's position without amendments at a vote in second reading at a plenary session before the summer.
The new regulation is part of a package of EU initiatives to ensure the deployment of the 112-based eCall service across Europe. On 8 May 2014, the Council already adopted a decision to introduce the mandatory eCall system:
The EU-wide infrastructure needed for eCall to work properly with emergency facilities is now being implemented.