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NXP ready for mass adoption of eCall vehicle emergency call system

November 26, 2010 | Julien Happich | 222901238
NXP ready for mass adoption of eCall vehicle emergency call system The 25th of November marked the conclusion of a three-week Pan-European field trial during which thousands of automated SMS were sent out from three cars as they were driven through sixteen EU countries. The trial was designed to prove that in-vehicle systems are ready for a unified and cross-borders European emergency system. It was initiated by NXP Semiconductors with partners BMW, IBM, Allianz OrtungsServices, Dekra, Deutsche Telekom and automobile clubs Touring, ANBW, AvD, and UAMK.
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Equipped with NXP's telematics solution ATOP (Automotive Telematics On-Board Unit Platform), the cars started their trip in November 10th from three European cities, Madrid, Athens, and Helsinki to converge at the eSafety Forum in Brussels after 16,000 kilometers of accumulated trip distance. 

During the drivers' journeys, the IBM, Allianz & NXP backends received 15,000 eCalls sent out automatically by the telematics boxes, half of them from in-band modem and half of them SMS-based, via the mobile networks of Deutsche Telekom and its roaming partners. The trial proved successful even at border-crossings where the telematics module had to switch between different standards to keep sending its tracking messages.

eCall is an EU system designed to reduce the time it takes for rescue services to respond to traffic accidents across Europe by sending an automated emergency call which includes vital data such as the exact location (GPS coordinates), the time of the accident and the vehicle's characteristics (model, engine or fuel type etc.). The call is processed by the relevant road emergency service provider who in turn tries to establish contact with the driver for a quick check of the situation.

Alternatively emergency services can be sent out directly to the rescue. The European Union has called for mandatory implementation of eCall for all new automobiles and it is expected that from 2014 onwards, all new cars will be fitted with eCall as standard. Studies have shown that eCall could save up to 2,500 lives annually in Europe thanks to emergency services reaction times being reduced by an estimated 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areas.

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