Brussels, 11 December 2006
An urgent set of actions to restart moves to roll-out emergency call (eCall) technology for cars in Europe has been proposed by the Commission. The Commission-industry action plan agreed in 2005 to add eCall to all new cars in Europe by 2009 has stalled, warns the Commission status report of 23 November. While there has been significant progress at European level, some Member States have been slow to invest in infrastructure, and industry now refuses further action.
"We urgently need to get eCall back on track," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "We have the technology. Now we need Member States and industry to move up a gear and help us make Europe's roads safer sooner rather than later."
The initial 2005 Commission-industry agreement contained a framework for rolling-out eCall in Europe (see IP/05/134 and IP/05/1137), targeting Member States which had to invest in emergency rescue service infrastructure. The Commission also agreed to monitor progress closely, and to take further action if eCall deployment was endangered.
As eCall is based on the single European emergency number 112 and its location-enhancement, E112, their implementation was also followed by the Commission.
This led to serious concerns. While the Commission has taken several measures supporting eCall deployment and standardisation, and some Member States have already started eCall deployment, many are not on track with the necessary infrastructure. Industry has already reacted with a new deployment timetable of 2010 instead of 2009.
The Commission's response is a new Communication (adopted on 23 November), "Bringing eCall back on track – Action Plan". It presents two actions that are crucial for making eCall a reality:
The Commission will provide further assistance by working on privacy and standardisation, and through field tests and public awareness campaigns, as part of the Intelligent Car initiative within the Commission's i2010 strategy - a European Information Society for growth and jobs (see IP/06/191 and IP/06/1271).
list of Member States, organisations and companies that so far have signed the eC