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eCall is a European initiative intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the European Union. The aim is for all new cars to incorporate a system that automatically contacts the emergency services in the event of a serious accident, sending location and sensor information. eCall was made mandatory in all new cars sold within the EU from April 2018.
The concept of eCall was presented in 1999 by European civil servant Luc Tytgat, during the launch of the European Commission's Galileo project. One year earlier, 170 experts met in Brussels, invited by the commission, to analyse the European dependence on the American GPS system, but also to gather civilian applications propositions.
In 2007, the project was postponed.
In the summer of 2013, the project was adopted and was scheduled to be completed by 1 October 2015.
On 6 September 2013 trade associations operating in the automotive after market (like AIRC, CLEPA, FIA, FIGEAFA) welcomed the European Commission's eCall initiative and fully support the Europe-wide mandatory introduction of eCall by 2015 in all new type-approved cars and light commercial vehicles. AIRC (Association des Reparateurs en Carrosserie) General Secretary Karel Bukholczer said that eCall represents an important initiative to reduce fatalities and the severity of injuries on Europe's roads.
IP-based emergency services mechanisms is introduced to support the next generation of the Pan-European in-vehicle emergency call service in May 2017.
The de jure ITU-T Recommendation identifies requirements of an Internet of things (IoT)-based automotive emergency response system (AERS), i.e. eCall, for factory preinstalled and aftermarket devices in March 2018.
The ITU-T Recommendation identifies minimum set of data structure for automotive emergency response system: ITU-T Y.4467, and minimum set of data transfer protocol for automotive emergency response system: ITU-T Y.4468 in January 2020. 
In November 2020, the new vehicles in UAE started to have the eCall systems.
The eCall initiative aims to deploy a device installed in all vehicles that will automatically dial 112 in the event of a serious road accident, and wirelessly send airbag deployment and impact sensor information, as well as GPS or Galileo coordinates to local emergency agencies. A manual call button is also provided. eCall builds on E112. According to some estimates, eCall could reduce emergency response times by 40 percent in urban areas and by 50 percent in rural areas.
Many companies are involved with telematics technology to use in different aspects of eCall including in-vehicle systems, wireless data delivery, and public safety answering point systems. Standardization of communication protocols and human language issues are some of the obstacles. Prototypes have been successfully tested with GPRS and in-band signalling over cellular networks. At the same time proprietary eCall solutions that rely on SMS exist already today from car makers such as BMW, PSA and Volvo Cars.
The project is also supported by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), an interest group of European car, bus, and truck manufacturers, and ERTICO. Many of the stakeholder companies involved with telematics technology have membership in ERTICO or ACEA.
As with all schemes to add mandatory wireless transceivers to cars, there are privacy concerns to be addressed. Depending on the final implementation of the system, it may be possible for the system to become activated without an actual crash taking place. Also, the occupants of the car have no control over the remote activation of the microphone, making a car susceptible to eavesdropping.
In Russia, a fully interoperable system called ERA-GLONASS is being deployed, with the aim to require an eCall terminal and a GPS/GLONASS receiver in new vehicles by 2015–2017. As ERA-GLONASS was the first system started to operate eCall is based on its technology.
- "eCall in all new cars from April 2018". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
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- "Next-Generation Pan-European eCall", IETF RFC 8147, May 2017.
- "Requirements and capability framework for IoT-based automotive emergency response system", ITU-T Y.4119, March 2018.
- "Minimum set of data structure for automotive emergency response system", ITU-T Y.4467, January 2020.
- "Minimum set of data transfer protocol for automotive emergency response system", ITU-T Y.4468, January 2020.
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- European eCall Official website
- eCall description from the eSafety initiative
- eCall Deployment project co-funded by the EC
- eCall System presented at "jugend forscht" competition in 2001
- European Emergency Number Association (EENA)
- Transmitting Location Information (MSD) Via GSM Phone Call for eCall using Gradient InBand PSAP Server
- New My-112 "Smartmatics" OBD solution for eCall
- GLONASS UNION "ERA-GLONASS"
- IETF RFC 8147 "Next-Generation Pan-European eCall"
- ITU-T Y.4119 "Requirements and capability framework for IoT-based automotive emergency response system"
- ITU-T Y.4467 "Minimum set of data structure for automotive emergency response system"
- ITU-T Y.4468 "Minimum set of data transfer protocol for automotive emergency response system"