New cars sold in EU from 2018 to feature automatic emergency call system

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EU-Wide Emergency Call System in Cars to Save Lives

All new cars sold across the EU from April 2018 are to be equipped with an automatic emergency call system in an effort to cut road fatalities.

The system, known as eCall, will be able to detect certain parameters that are linked to crashes, such as a dramatic change in the vehicle's speed, or the inflation of the vehicle's airbags.

When these parameters are met, the eCall device will automatically send data to emergency services, including the vehicle's exact location, the direction the car was travelling in – important on a motorway – how many passengers were on board, and what kind of fuel the car runs on.

The device will also be available to affordably install into older vehicles and has already been adopted in Slovenia, proving useful to the country's emergency response centres.

However, while the system could save a huge number of lives – more than 2,000 a year across Europe, claims Marijan Rimac, head of technical assistance at the Croatia Auto Club – the European Parliament has expressed concerns about peoples' right to privacy.

The device's manufacturers have rebutted this issue, adding that data is only released the moment that there is a serious accident.