AXA Assistance awards pan-European contract to Eagle-i

AXA Assistance awards pan-European contract to Eagle-i

Under the new contract, Eagle-i will provide in-vehicle positioning and PDA-based workflow solutions, web-based job management and fleet management solutions, and call-centre mapping solutions to AXA Assistance's European operations network. The contract also includes a range of professional services including consultancy and systems integration and implementation.

Eagle-i Telematics' solutions will enable AXA Assistance to quickly locate the nearest breakdown and recovery vehicle to an incident, dispatch instructions to the driver and provide the customer with a more accurate estimated time of arrival. The same technology will also be adopted to improve response capabilities within AXA Assistance's medical and home assistance businesses.

AXA Assistance provides technical assistance and motor recovery services to customers throughout Europe via its own dedicated fleet and a network of approved suppliers. The Eagle-i contract will initially supply AXA Assistance's own fleet of 200 vehicles in eight countries, with the same solutions being made available to the wider pan-European fleet operated by AXA's approved suppliers.

The Eagle-i technology has already been rolled-out on AXA Assistance's UK fleet, with Spain, Portugal, France and Poland expected to come on stream over the next few months.

The deployment of geolocalisation services through AXA Assistance's European call centre will enable it to meet the requirements of a future pan-European e-Call initiative, the EC-led project to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in collisions anywhere in the EU.

Although the mechanics of an e-Call initiative are far from confirmed and agreed, some commentators anticipate that the costs for e-call will be borne by vehicle manufacturers and the insurance sector, as they are the principal clients for most roadside assistance operations.

Most assistance companies don't operate their own recovery vehicles; they have relationships with a network of breakdown service providers, perhaps hundreds of service providers in countries across Europe, operating a total of 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles.

"In terms of the services we are supplying, any AXA Assistance service provider vehicle equipped with our system is visible to the call centre network in real-time," said Eagle-i chief executive, Ian Walmsley. "The call centre operator can speak to the recovery vehicle driver, plot the co-ordinates or key in the approximate location, and issue the relevant instructions to the nearest available recovery vehicle. When the recovery vehicle driver accepts the job, the call centre operator will know which vehicle it is and where it is, and will be able to give the driver an accurate ETA."

This, says Walmsley, will help dramatically to speed up and improve service levels, and could mean, in extreme cases, the difference between life and death.

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