The European Commission is aiming to have a fully functional eCall service to be in place throughout the EU by 2015. According to some estimates, eCall could speed emergency response times by 40 percent in urban areas and by 50 percent in rural areas.
SatSafe is currently working on the development of a vehicle tracking device which will incorporate the eCall capabilities discussed below:
The use of in-vehicle emergency call (eCall) to deploy emergency assistance will save lives and reduce the social burden of road accidents by improving the notification of such accidents, speeding up the emergency service response and lowering the subsequent effects on fatalities, severity of injuries and traffic flows.
eCall is an emergency call that is generated manually by the vehicle’s occupants or automatically via activation of sensors like those built into SatSafeDRIVE when an accident occurs. Once activated, the in-vehicle eCall system will establish a 112-voice connection directly with the relevant PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point), or a Third Party Servcie Provider’s eCall centre that operates under the regulation and/or authorisation of a public body.
At the same time, a minimum set of data (MSD) – including key information about the accident such as time, location and vehicle description – will be sent to the PSAP operator receiving the voice call. The minimum set of data may also contain the link to a potential Service Provider by including its IP address and telephone number. If the user is subscribed to a Service Provider, additional information can be sent from the service provider to the PSAP as illustrated below.
Quartix powered, SatSafeDRIVE devices already incorporate various aspects of eCall including wireless data delivery and global public safety answering point systems. Clearly, there are geographical, cultural and language differences which make standardisation of communication protocols challenging. However, prototypes have been successfully tested with GPRS and in-band signalling over cellular networks and current product and service developments are providing excellent opportunities for road safety improvements on a global scale.
How SatSafeDRIVE will work:
Whenever a SatSafe davice is involved in a collision event (accident), a 112 emergency call (eCall) is made automatically. The internal sensors determine the severity of the collision and the device registers the accident via text message, email and an auto-dial. SatSafeDRIVE also features an SOS emergency call button which may be initiated by any vehicle occupant to enable two-way voice conversation with the Control Centres’ trained staff.
The vehicle’s location (within 5m), via satellite GPS and telephony GPRS is transmitted by SatSafeDRIVE via eCall to the nearest emergency response centre. An incident data file, (telemetry) including speed, magnitude of force and direction and a short 15 second video clip is sent to an incident controller to assist with incident management. The incident’s urgency is acknowledged by the control centre and the accident’s location can be seen on screen. A trained operator attempts to establish verbal communication with the vehicle’s occupants to gather vital information such as number of occupants, age, severity of injuries etc. If there is no response, Emergency Services are deployed immediately and therefore arrive at an accident much sooner. SatSafe’s automatic crash notification will save precious lives.
The features provided by SatSafeDRIVE also reduce costs during the accident investigation stage. Insurers’ crash management and stolen vehicle recovery processes are streamlined thus saving time and money which again, may lead to lower insurance premiums. In Italy for example, it is law to provide lower premiums to drivers insured through telematics based policies and we are looking forward to rolling out our service to other SatSafe overseas markets.