New rules to ensure that from October 2015 all new car models sold in the EU are able to dial emergency services when they are involved in a serious accident are debated by MEPs on Tuesday 25 February 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 could save up to 2,500 lives a year.