Last week the European Commission adopted a recommendation targeting mobile phone operators obliging them to make sure that their networks trasmit eCalls correctly (eCall: using ICT to save lives). What is an eCall, you ask?
eCall is an ICT system that can be implanted in a consumer's car (watch the video). Whenever it detects that the car was in an accident, it activates and automatically alerts the emergency services, by dialling emergency number and giving your GPS location. What is this means in practice is that the emergency services are notified sooner about the accident and have the exact location of the car, which leads to more speedy reaction in situations when time is often an issue. Moreover, the procedure has been unified throughout Europe which means that even when you travel abroad in your car you may expect the same service.
European Commission sees the importance of providing emergency services within minutes since the accident had happened and that is why the recommendation had been issued. Further plans include a new legislation that would obligate car manufacturers to instsall eCall devices in all new models of passenger cars and light vehicles on one hand, and on the other hand that would make sure that such eCalls are properly received and handled by emergency services all over Europe. The prediction is that this legislation will be fully implemented by 2015.