In case of a crash, an eCall-equipped car automatically calls the nearest emergency centre. Even if no passenger is able to speak, e.g. due to injuries, a 'Minimum Set of Data' is sent, which includes the exact location of the crash site. Shortly after the accident, emergency services therefore know that there has been an accident, and where exactly.
eCall cuts emergency services response time. It goes down to 50% in the countryside and 60% in built-up areas. The quicker response will save hundreds of lives in the EU every year. The severity of injuries will be considerably reduced in tens of thousands of cases. You can also make an eCall by pushing a button inside the car. Witnessing an accident, you can thus report it and automatically give the precise location. As eCall normally 'sleeps', it does not allow vehicle tracking outside emergencies.
The EC proposals for legislative acts foresaw that eCall would be seamlessly functioning throughout Europe by end of 2015. As the adoption procedure of these legislative acts by the European Parliament and the Council is still ongoing, the deadlines for implementation will most likely be the end of 2017 or early 2018.