NXP & others start pan-EU eCall field trial; to show eCall not dependent on present standards

At the electronica 2010 conference in Munich, NXP Semiconductors and its partners will launch a pan-European field trial of the eCall emergency system, which automatically calls emergency operators in the event of a road accident.

Taking part in this field trial alongside NXP are organizations representing essential parts of the rescue chain, including partners BMW, IBM, Allianz OrtungsServices, DEKRA and Deutsche Telekom, as well as automobile clubs AvD, Touring and UAMK.

The pan-European eCall trial has kicked off with three cars starting from Madrid, Athens and Helsinki. Within two weeks, the three cars will drive to Brussels, where the closing event of the eSafety Forum will be held on November 25, 2010.

Each of the vehicles is equipped with a small onboard telematics unit based on NXP technology.

During the 10,000 kilometer journey, the telematics unit will send out test emergency calls at regular intervals, which will be analyzed by servers from IBM, and will be sent to Allianz OrtungsServices and the BMW call center.

The trial intends to show that eCall is not dependent on the present standards used; that it functions reliably across all European borders; and that the telematics solution is compatible with given EU eCall standards. The EU drives solutions based on an in-band modem.

“eCall works across EU borders, using either an in-band modem or SMS from the car. NXP has developed a solution for this – the ATOP (Automotive Telematics On-Board Unit Platform). ATOP is a module, a little bigger than a two-Euro coin, which can be cost-efficiently and flexibly integrated in auto electronics,” said Lars Reger, vice president of strategy and business development for the Automotive and Identification business unit at NXP.

Currently circa three percent of all vehicles worldwide are fitted with a telematics system, which is required for eCall.

The technical requirements for a European deployment are already in place. NXP has developed an inexpensive telematics solution, which enables other services possible in addition to eCall.

At this pan-European trial, the test signal from each location will be sent from the ATOP-based vehicle telematics solution, also known as an onboard unit, to the nearest rescue service point via Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network and roaming partners.

For the rescue service points, IBM offers appropriate hardware, software and its messaging and visual solutions, providing precise localization and mapping. Allianz OrtungsServices (AOS) offers rescue service units (PSAPs) with the exact location of any casualties, through mobile networks via its LifeService112 Location Platform.

Learn more here.

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