Europe News: Feasibility study proves eCall’s value

Europe News:  Feasibility study proves eCall’s value

Airbiquity and Continental Automotive Systems have announced their involvement in the successful pan-European eCall Feasibility Trial that was conducted by ADAC, Europe’s sixteen million member-strong automobile club.

The objective of the trial was to assess the recommended pan-European eCall implementation, and focused on challenging network conditions such as cross-border environments and areas with poor cellular coverage.

Airbiquity’s aqLink in-band modem and aqServers were used to transmit and disseminate vital GPS and emergency data from Opel test vehicles equipped with Continental’s with eCall units in various locations throughout Austria, Germany and Italy.

The results of the trial concluded that an eCall system using Continental’s eCall units and Airbiquity’s technology exceeded the performance requirements recommended by the eCall Driving Group.

Partners in the trial also included Adam Opel, T-Mobile Deutschland, Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI Global Spa, Milan), and the Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad-und Touring Club (ÖAMTC, Austria).

Europe’s eCall initiative proposes the use of GSM or UMTS mobile networks to automatically contact emergency services when the airbag is deployed, or when summoned via special eCall buttons built into a vehicle’s cockpit area. Once activated, emergency responders are able to secure voice communication with accident victims through the mobile network and can automatically obtain the location of distressed vehicles via GPS technology.

As a result of the positive outcome of the trial, Germany and Austria signed the eCall Memorandum of Understanding in favour of adopting the eCall initiative into all new automobiles by 2010. Additional members of the EU are expected to sign the MoU in the near future.

For the past ten years or so, Continental Automotive Systems has been manufacturing and supplying eCall units for the US market, and Airbiquity’s technology has been deployed in more than six million vehicles in the US.

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