From 2015, all new cars sold in the EU should be able to dial emergency services when they are involved in a serious accident, say MEPs in a non–binding report jointly adopted by the transport and internal market committees on 19 June. It will be presented during plenary on Monday 2 July and voted on the following day.
How it will work: a damaged car will make a 112 emergency call (eCall) as soon as its sensors (e.g. airbag sensors) register a crash. It could also be activated manually by pushing a special button in a car. The system will automatically transmit data about location and time of a crash to the nearest emergency response centre.
Member States will have to upgrade their infrastructure so that eCalls are efficiently passed on to emergency services.
Currently, only 0.7% of all passenger vehicles in the EU are equipped with automatic emergency call systems. The eCall device is estimated to cost less than €100 per new car to install. According to estimates, it would save up to 2,500 lives a year.
The plenary vote will be on 3 July 2012. A legislative proposal from the European Commission is expected by the end of 2012.