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Intelligent transport systems

The interoperable EU-wide eCall

What is eCall?

The 112 eCall automatically dials Europe's single emergency number 112 in the event of a serious road accident and communicates the vehicle's location to the emergency services.

Why eCall ?

In 2012 around 28 000 people were killed and more than 1.5 million injured in 1.1 million traffic accidents on EU roads.

In addition to the tragedy of loss of life and injury, this also carries an economic burden of around EUR 130 billion in costs to society every year.

It is estimated that 112 eCall can speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside and can reduce the number of fatalities by at least 4% and the number of severe injuries by 6%.

How does eCall work?

eCall is activated automatically as soon as in-vehicle sensors and/or processors (e.g. airbag) detect a serious crash.

Once set off, the system dials the European emergency number 112, establishes a telephone link to the appropriate emergency call centre (aka Public Safety Answering Points – PSAPs) and sends details of the accident (aka Minimum Set of Data – MSD) to the rescue services, including the time of incident, the accurate position of the crashed vehicle and the direction of travel.

An eCall can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car, for example by a witness to a serious accident.

eCall is NOT...

  • 112 eCall is not a black box. It does not record constantly the position of the vehicle, it records only a few data to determine the position and direction of the vehicle just before the crash and these data are only transmitted to emergency call centers if there is a serious crash.
  • eCall cannot be used to monitor motorist's moves. The SIM-card used to transmit the eCall data is dormant, i.e. it is only activated in case the vehicle has a serious accident (e.g. the airbag is activated).
  • 112 eCall is not expensive. The cost is estimated to less that € 100 per car at the date of entry into force of the proposed regulation. This cost is expected to decrease in the future, following the trends of electronic components' costs and also due to economy of scale (ultimately all new cars will be equipped in the EU and in some neighboring countries)

Where do we stand with the legislation?

On 13 June 2013, the Commission adopted two proposals that complete the Commission strategy on eCall:

  • Public Safety Answering Points: a proposal for a Decision of the EP and Council on the deployment of the interoperable EU-wide eCall in the PSAPs, in accordance with the specifications laid down by Delegated Regulation (EU) No 305/2013 :

Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the deployment of the interoperable EU-wide eCall

European Parliament / Legislative Observatory (2013/0166(COD))

In April-May 2014, the European Parliament and the Council found an agreement on this proposal that provided for:

the deployment, at least 6 months before the date of application of the Regulation concerning the mandatory fitting of the eCall device in vehicles (personal cars and commercial light vehicles), of the eCall infrastructure required for the handling of all eCalls on the EU territory, with a final deadline for the deployment set at October 1, 2017.

the right of each Member State to organise its emergency services in the way most cost effective and appropriate to its needs, including the right to let private organisations recognised by the Member State deal with the receipt and handling of eCalls, in accordance with the specifications laid down by Delegated Regulation (EU) No 305/2013 .

112 eCalls handling free of charge for the users.

The Decision No 585/2014/EU was published in the Official Journal on 3 June 2014.

  • In-vehicle system : a proposal under the framework provided by Directive 2007/46/EC to mandate eCall in all new types of M1 and N1 vehicles (passenger cars and light duty vehicles) is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council:

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall in-vehicle system and amending Directive 2007/46/EC

European Parliament / Legislative Observatory (2013/0165(COD))

eCall in the Member States

Czech Republic:


The Netherlands: