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eCall to be mandatory on new car models from 31 March 2018
As anticipated in our first article on eCall (the European automatic emergency service, 112-based), the European Parliament and council negotiators have finally agreed the deal on a life-saving automatic emergency call system for cars in the first week of December 2014. This deal has been backed by Internal Market Committee MEPs during the same week and covers 3 main items: delivering eCall deadline, data privacy treatment and co-existence with third party eCall services.
The deal would require all new models of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to be equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018, while EU member states have to install the necessary infrastructure to receive and handle all eCalls no later than October 1st 2017.
In the following three years, the European Commission will assess whether eCall should be extended to other vehicles, such as buses, coaches or trucks, says the agreement text.
A data protection clause to preclude tracking of eCall-equipped vehicle before the accident occurs has been strengthened by MEPs under the agreed deal. This allows the guarantee that no vehicle tracking will be made by eCall operators unless the vehicle is involved in an accident.
As agreed, eCall will only send the emergency services centres the minimum data set such as the class of vehicle, the type of fuel used, the time of the accident and the exact location, thus protecting data privacy.
MEPs also amended the draft law to ensure data gathered by emergency centres or their service partners must not be transferred to third parties without explicit consent of the person concerned, the “data subject”.
Besides, clear information about eCall data processing will have to be included in the car owner’s manual, as well as available online. eCall providers have to guarantee permanent deletion of the data gathered
THIRD PARTY’S ECALL SERVICES
Since many manufacturers already offer eCall-type services through private call centres, the deal provides for the co-existence of the two systems: public eCall and third party eCall services (TPS eCall). Vehicle owners may choose public eCall services rather than private ones at any time. Should TPS fail to work, public eCall will be made automatically available.
The agreed deal needs to be formally approved by all EU member states and finally Parliament as a whole, probably in March 2015.
We’ll continue to monitor the EU Parliament decision process and report any new item in this blog.