eCall to offer fast help for riders in emergency situations

9th May 2016
Posted By : Jordan Mulcare

Getting to the scene of an accident or emergency quickly can save lives, especially where motorcyclists are concerned. This is why BMW Motorrad has developed an optional Intelligent Emergency Call (eCall) system for riders. When activated, BMW’s intelligent eCall system starts the rescue chain by sending out GPS position coordinates of the motorcycle accident site directly to a BMW Call Centre, where operatives are also able to speak to the rider in their own language.

Thanks to the synergy effects with BMW Automobiles the system is expected to be available for the first time in a BMW motorcycle ex works as an option from beginning of 2017. Intelligent Emergency Call takes several scenarios into account:

In the case of a serious crash or collision, eCall is automatically triggered, sending a message to a qualified BMW Call Centre, which takes care of the accident victim/rider via audio connection until the emergency service arrives. The BMW Call Centre addresses the rider in his or her preferred language. Help is sent out in any case, even if there is no response by the rider. A display in the instrument cluster and an acoustic signal shows that eCall has been initiated. In this scenario the rider cannot cancel the emergency call.

In the case of a minor fall or collision, eCall is only triggered after 25 seconds. This gives the rider the opportunity to cancel the emergency call manually if no help is necessary. If he does not cancel, the rescue chain is initiated as above, with the corresponding display and audible signal from the instrument cluster.

Sensors on the motorcycle detect events such as collisions with another vehicle or crashing into an obstruction. A lean-angle sensor detects high and low-siders. The current position, as well as information for determining the direction of travel, are also transmitted to help locate the motorcyclist in hard-to-find locations such as motorway junctions.

The Intelligent Emergency Call is only triggered automatically if real emergency situations are detected. Rough, but normal usage like riding over potholes or even off-road riding do not lead to an automatic activation.

eCall can, however, be triggered manually when the motorcycle is stationary with the ignition on. This works by pressing the SOS button on the right handlebar, e.g., for calling assistance for other road users. A message is sent to the BMW Call Centre and a voice connection is established. Here too, the rider is given the opportunity to cancel the emergency call at the press of a button or by turning off the ignition.

In addition to the SOS button used for triggering or cancelling an emergency call, a microphone and loudspeaker have also been integrated, allowing the rider to communicate with the BMW Call Centre. The optional Intelligent Emergency Call will be rolled out in Germany first and then introduced to further European markets.

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