The European Parliament has made into law a policy that requires all new cars and small vans sold in Europe beginning April 2018 to have a device that will automatically contact emergency services in the event of an accident.
Called the eCall system, in the event of an accident and with the driver unable to speak due to injuries, the vehicle will make the distress call to the nearest emergency center and relay information about accident, the type of vehicle and fuel used, the time of the accident, the exact location, the number of passengers in the vehicle and even the force of impact and whether or not the airbags deployed.
The eCall system can also be manually activated by pushing a button in cases where the driver witnesses a major accident.
It will cost automakers an extra £70 or Php 4,916 per vehicle to install the eCall System but according to the European Parliament this will cut emergency team response time by 60% in cities and by 50% in rural areas.
eCall will be mandatory for brand new vehicles but is optional installment for vehicles sold before 31 March 2018.
Members of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which include Ford, BMW, Volvo, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, Jaguar / Land Rover, Peugeot among many others, welcomed the decision to make eCall mandatory.
"With eCall to be available on new vehicle types in April 2018, this decision brings Europe one step closer to making operational a system which we have been advocating since 2004. Vehicle manufacturers are committed to protecting their customers' privacy. However, at the end of the day, we cannot forget that the primary purpose of eCall is safety. The industry feels the new law strikes a good balance between saving lives and protecting data," said Erik Jonnaert, ACEA secretary general.