Beginning March 31, 2018, all new car and light commercial vehicles in the European Union will be required to have "eCall" in-vehicle emergency response service that automatically dials the local emergency number in the event of a serious road accident. To enable this technology, vehicle manufacturers will be required to fit vehicles with sensors that can detect a crash as well as with a telematics control unit that enables voice and data connections for telematics services.
Most road fatalities in the EU occur on rural roads, making quick emergency services notification and satellite location critical to reducing these deaths. The eCall technology is expected to reduce the window of time between when an accident occurs and the arrival of emergency services by up to 50 percent in rural areas and up to 40 percent in urban areas. By getting passengers needed assistance quicker, the number of fatalities is expected to decrease by up to 1,500 per year.