New European automatic communication system aimed at reducing emergency services response time to accidents involving eCall equipped vehicles – tests at innovITS ADVANCE have demonstrated this UK facility’s capability to evaluate the performance of products incorporating eCall.
The new eCall technology is in the process of being adopted by a large number of EU member states. If an eCall equipped car is involved in an accident in which airbags are deployed, the car automatically calls the nearest emergency centre even if the driver and any passengers are unable to speak due to injury. In such circumstances the system automatically transmits a minimum data set including the exact location of the crash site and identification of the vehicle, thus reducing emergency service response time. In addition, when a driver or passenger in an eCall equipped car witnesses an accident, they can report it and automatically summon assistance while giving precise location information, all at the push of a button.
Prompted by the need for automakers and their Tier 1 suppliers to supply eCall equipped products to the European markets adopting this technology, innovITS ADVANCE has carried out a demonstration of capability in the area of eCall testing and certification. With its independent and fully controllable private GSM network and Skyclone GNSS denial capabilities, innovITS ADVANCE is uniquely placed to provide an environment in which eCall systems can be tested under all conditions of signal quality and attenuation.
To carry out this first demonstration of eCall using at the innovITS ADVANCE facility, innovITS worked together with partners DENSO, CINTERION a Gemalto Company, TRL, MIRA and PMN, to connect the site’s private GSM network to an external eCall Public Service Access Point (PSAP). With this first vehicle test successfully completed, innovITS and its partners are now planning to work towards implementing a comprehensive eCall test and certification service based at innovITS ADVANCE – one of the first such facilities to offer this service in Europe.
“By successfully demonstrating functionality tests on an eCall equipped vehicle, innovITS ADVANCE has thus proven its capability to act as a robust and reliable site for the testing and certification of eCall products,” explains innovITS CEO Phil Pettitt. “The presence of a network of roads covered by a fully controllable private GSM network is fundamental to the ability to provide such a robust testing environment. Over the coming months we will be working with our partners to establish on a permanent basis an eCall test and certification service that can be offered to customers on a commercial basis.”
“eCall is a very promising technology which I believe will have a major role to play in improving emergency service response times in those EU states implementing the system,” added Marcel Visser, global vice president automotive of CINTERION and chairman of the ERTICO Automotive Suppliers Sector Platform. “By working together in a proactive manner, the technical partners in this self-funded project have demonstrated that the European automotive industry supply chain will be ready to embrace the test and certification needs of eCall using the dedicated ITS test and development facilities such as those of innovITS ADVANCE.”