eCall: automated emergency call

By October 2015, cars will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The "eCall" system automatically dials 112 – Europe's single emergency number – in the event of a car collision. It communicates the vehicle's location to emergency services, even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. It is estimated that it could save up to 2500 lives a year.

Benefits of eCall

The data received through the eCall system will allow emergency services to provide assistance to vehicle drivers and passengers more quickly, thus helping to save lives and to treat injuries rapidly. Estimates suggest that eCall could speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside, and save up to 2500 lives a year. In addition to the road safety benefits, eCall will also have a significant impact on reducing the congestion caused by traffic accidents and on reducing secondary accidents caused by unsecured accident sites.

How eCall works

eCall is activated automatically as soon as in-vehicle sensors detect a serious crash. Once set off, the system dials the European emergency number 112, establishes a telephone link to the appropriate 112 emergency call centre and sends details of accident to such centre, including the time of incident, the accurate position of the crashed vehicle and the direction of travel (most important on motorways and in tunnels). An eCall can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car, for example by a witness to a serious accident.

eCall operation chart



Other information

EU funding