From 2009 all new cars registered in Europe will need to be fitted with an eCall system, which is programmed to call for assistance in the event of an accident.
There are some systems around already like the one being fitted into new Volvos, but making this statutory has some adverse effects, like malfunctions and the pressure that this will put the emergency services under.
However from safety aspect the system will make drivers feel safer especially in rural areas and for lone drivers.
The system works when the airbags are deployed after an impact, where a signal will be sent off to the nearest rescue center along with data from the GPS system, this will allow the rescue center to get a location for the accident.
There will then be a voice link to the occupant of the car, if there is no reply, then the emergency services will be contacted.
In Europe the figures for road deaths is around 40,000 per year, and the European Union believe that this system will save between 2,500 and 7,000 of the fatalities. All because the emergency services getting to the accident faster.
As expected the system is not going to be cheap, the Volvo system already costs â‚¬1,800, while BMWâ€™s Bluetooth enabled SOS system is priced at around â‚¬4,000.
One thing is for sure, these systems could save lives, but at what cost? Naturally it is impossible to put a price on safety, but surely this should be a matter of choice rather than being compulsory!
Source [Digital Journal]