Good news for Europe's drivers, and for Europe's 230 million cars! Europe's mobile phone industry will sign the eCall Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), giving its full backing to eCall. Europe's in-car automatic emergency call system has life-saving potential as it automatically dials 112, Europe's single emergency number, when a car has a serious accident and sends its location to the nearest emergency service – even when the passengers do not know or cannot say where they are.

Viviane Reding, the EU's Telecoms Commissioner will host a signing ceremony on the eCall MoU with representatives of the GSM Association Europe. With its commitment to eCall the industry sends an important message to Member States' national authorities some of which – despite several calls from the Commission – are still not ready to deploy the in-car system voluntarily.

The background:

This August, the Commission called on EU countries and Europe's car and telecoms industry to speed up the roll-out of eCall in Europe. It outlined a strategy for introducing eCall in all new vehicles across Europe by 2014, starting next year, including possible EU legislation should the voluntary approach fail.

eCall is an affordable in-car emergency call system which automatically dials 112, Europe's single emergency number, if a vehicle is involved in an accident. eCall could save up to 2 500 lives per year in the EU when fully deployed and reduce by 10-15% the severity of injuries. Road accidents cost the EU economy more than €160 billion a year. Equipping all cars in the EU with the eCall system could save €26 billion annually while the system' is estimated to cost less than €100 per car.

The event

Representatives from GSM Europe will formally sign the eCall Memorandum of Understanding on 9 September in the presence of EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

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The sources:

IP/09/1245 : "Last call to implement car safety system voluntarily" and Citizen Summary on the Commission's August 2009 eCall Communication.

eCall website

eCall Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

MoU signatories

Fact sheet: 'eCall - saving lives through in-vehicle communication technology'

Commissioner Viviane Reding's website