This week sees the successful conclusion of a field trial designed to prove that the European emergency call system ‘eCall’ for vehicles is ready for mass deployment across Europe. The trial, which was initiated by NXP Semiconductors N.V., involved major industry players including BMW, IBM, Allianz OrtungsServices, Deutsche Telekom, Dekra, and European automobile clubs such as Touring, ANBW, AvD, and UAMK. Three cars equipped with NXP’s telematics solution ATOP (Automotive Telematics On-Board Unit Platform) drove a total of 16,000 kilometers through sixteen different EU countries. During a two-week period, the telematics boxes sent out 15,000 eCalls via the mobile networks of Deutsche Telekom and its roaming partners; the eCalls were received and processed by IBM, Allianz OrtungsServices, and BMW servers or call centers.
The trial will reach its official conclusion with a public finish at the eSafety Forum in Brussels on November 25th, where the three cars will arrive two weeks after departing from Madrid, Athens and Helsinki, respectively.
On their way to the final destination of Brussels, the three BMWs regularly sent test eCalls in each country they crossed, demonstrating that the technology is capable of working across borders, regardless of which standards (SMS-based or in-band modem) prevail locally. BMW is one of the pioneers of implementing telematics systems. The Advanced Assist eCall solution is available in all BMW models and is already in place.
Kurt Sievers, senior vice president and general manager of NXP Semiconductors’ Automotive business unit, explains: “We are proud that in this landmark trial, NXP’s ATOP telematics system has proven reliable across country borders and technical standards. Large-scale introduction of eCall is about reliability, system costs, and trust. This is why we sent the eCall on tour, supporting the European Union with its implementation in Europe.”
Juhani Jääskeläinen, European Commission, states: “We are pleased to see that the implementation of eCall is becoming a reality in Europe. The closure of this eCall tour by a consortium of industry partners is an important step towards the EU's objective to have eCall deployed in all cars in Europe as soon as possible.
Hermann Meyer, CEO of ERTICO, , a European public-private partnership for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems, welcomes the Trial initiative: “It is fantastic to see this cooperation of major eCall stakeholders to show their support and the functioning of this life-saving service.”