Implementation of eCall requires all parties to be ready together, says auto industry

Brussels, 26 February 2014 - The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) takes note of today’s vote in the European Parliament on eCall, a system designed to automatically alert emergency services in the event of a road traffic accident or collision.

“The automobile industry is committed to safety,” said ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “eCall is one of many developments designed to limit the effects of road accidents, and the industry has supported it from the outset.”

For eCall to work, three things need to be ready simultaneously:

  • The devices need to be fitted to cars and vans;
  • The equipment to receive and process the call – the Public Service Answering Points - must be ready in all member states; and
  • The mobile network coverage needs to be in place.

Considering the member states' requirement for working infrastructure to be in place, the target date of October 2015 is very ambitious. “It would be of no use to have cars and vans equipped with eCall if the EU-wide infrastructure is not ready and able to receive eCalls,” explained Mr Jonnaert.

Regarding the complex issue of data protection, vehicle manufacturers are committed to protecting their customers’ privacy. Jonnaert: “At the end of the day, we cannot forget that the primary purpose of eCall is safety, so the right balance between protecting data and saving lives must be ensured.”

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Notes for editors

ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT S.p.A., Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO S.p.A., Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group. More information can be found on www.acea.be.

Facts about the EU automobile industry

  • Some 12.9 million people - or 5.3% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10% of EU's manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for over €385 billion in tax contribution in the EU.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €32 billion invested annually.
  • The automotive sector contributes positively to the EU trade balance with a €92 billion surplus, despite a total trade deficit for goods of €152.8 billion.