Gerlingen, Germany, April 2, 2018 -- Bosch has unveiled an "emergency call" system, the eCall for short, featuring telematics solutions and services.
On March 31, eCall became mandatory in the European Union. This requirement means that a digital first responder, who automatically calls for help in an accident, will be riding along in the car, each and every time.
"Connecting cars makes a great deal possible. Through the automatic eCall system, connected vehicles are now going to become lifesavers as well," said Dr Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch.
All new passenger vehicle models that hit the EU market after March 31, 2018, will come with eCall as standard. These vehicles will feature a standardized eCall box that automatically alerts the local emergency services via the number 112, which is the same across Europe. As a result, lifesaving assistance will be able to arrive with greater speed and precision at the scene of an accident.
The EU expects that eCall will save 2,500 lives each year and reduce the number of people who are seriously injured by 15 per cent. The first automakers are already providing their customers with the digital lifesaver as part of the navigation system without being required to do so by law. Thanks to the telematic eCall plug, even older cars can benefit from the solution.
There are many things to think of in an emergency, and every second matters. However, many people fall into a state of shock following an accident. In an even more terrifying scenario, the people in a vehicle end up unconscious or trapped after an accident, unable to call for help themselves. These are precisely the situations in which the automatic eCall system springs to action as an indispensable lifesaver. It knows exactly where the accident has occurred – regardless if it happens at night on a deserted road or on the freeway – and automatically sends that information to the rescue services.
"eCall places the emergency call faster than a person could and initiates the lifesaving rescue chain," Hoheisel said.
An SOS button is also installed on the vehicle’s dash, which the vehicle’s occupants can use to manually place the emergency call. In both cases, an audio connection is first established between the vehicle and the local emergency services team to communicate further details about the accident. If the driver does not respond, emergency responders go directly to the scene of the accident.
Thanks to precise information about the location based on GPS coordinates, the emergency responders even know in which direction of travel the accident occurred. As a result, the automatic eCall enables emergency responders to arrive at the scene of the accident 40 per cent faster in a city, while in rural areas, they can cut the usual response time in half.
A connectivity box that saves lives
The first automakers are already offering their customers eCall as part of a vehicle’s navigation or infotainment system for a number of years. In such a set-up, what is installed in the car is not a standard eCall box, but rather an additional control unit that a connected vehicle uses to communicate with the outside world.
At Bosch, this control unit is called the connectivity control unit, or CCU. It is the heart of connected mobility and the communication hub for eCall and other functions and services. The CCU registers a crash when the car’s airbags or seat-belt pretensioners are triggered. It then alerts rescue services or the Bosch emergency call center within a matter of seconds.
The CCU is also connected with additional sensors in the vehicle and knows, for example, how many seat belts are in use - and therefore how many people are in the car. As a result, emergency responders not only arrive faster, but also better prepared at the scene of an accident.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Bosch Communication Center is a customer service specialist, providing tailor-made outsourcing solutions for companies. From telecommunications resellers to manufacturers of household products, Bosch Communication Center offers its specialist support and consultancy services to a wide range of customers, leaving them free to concentrate on their core businesses.
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
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