EC THREATENS TO MANDATE ECALL

The European Commission today made a last call to all EU countries to speed up voluntary implementation of eCall. The Commission warns, in a policy document adopted today, that if no significant progress is made in rolling out the system by the end of 2009 it could propose regulatory measures to make this life-saving technology available all over Europe as soon as possible.

The Commission today presented a policy document with a strategy for introducing an affordable in-car emergency call system in all new vehicles across Europe by 2014, starting next year. The policy document also includes the progress made in the standardisation activities for eCall.

In Member States where there is an agreement to support proprietary eCall services with a similar quality of service as the pan-European eCall, the vehicle manufacturer would be free to choose the type of system supported (pan-European eCall or proprietary eCall service). For this purpose, CEN is developing standardised operational requirements for third party services providing eCall (TPS-eCall). In other Member States, vehicle manufacturers must implement the pan-European eCall system. If the buyer of a vehicle does not opt for the proprietary eCall solution, the automobile manufacturer must equip the vehicle with the pan-European eCall system.

Regardless of the solution chosen by the vehicle manufacturer, an in-vehicle emergency call service, including voice link and provision of at least the eCall MSD (Minimum Set of Data), must be provided in a seamless way in all EU Member States.

The final aim is to fully roll out the pan-European eCall service and make it standard equipment in all new type-approved vehicles in Europe. The Commission will monitor the effectiveness of the voluntary approach described above. If significant progress is not made by the end of 2009, both in the availability of the eCall device in vehicles, and the necessary investment in PSAP infrastructure, the Commission will plan to take the following regulatory measures in 2010:

(1) A Recommendation to the Member States targeting Mobile Network Operators on the transmission of eCall, including the MSD (Minimum Set of Data) from the in-vehicle systems to the PSAPs. The guidelines would be based on the single European emergency number enhanced with location capabilities (E112) and the set of standards related to transmission of the eCall.

(2) A proposal for a regulation under the vehicle type-approval legislation for the mandatory introduction of the in-vehicle part of the eCall service in new type-approved vehicles in Europe starting with certain categories,21 based on the operating requirements approved by the European Standardisation Organisations.

(3) The assessment of a potential regulatory measure for the necessary upgrading of the PSAP infrastructure required for proper receipt and handling of eCalls, in the framework of the proposed Directive on the deployment of ITS in Europe. The resulting Regulation, that would require Member States to take the necessary action for eCall implementation, would be based on the recommendations of the European eCall Implementation Platform (EeIP).

SEE PRESS RELEASE HERE.

SEE ECALL POLICY DOCUMENT HERE.

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