Feeds

A phone in every car gains hard-won GSMA support

Phoning while driving = £60, phoning after a crash = priceless

Security for virtualized datacentres

The GSMA has, unsurprisingly, come out in support of the EU plan to fit a mobile phone in every car, valuing each life saved at over fourteen million quid.

The eCall system dials 112 (the EU-wide emergency number) after an accident in order to summon the emergency services, and the Commission reckons that it could save 2500 lives a year. So far the system has been voluntary, but if member countries don't volunteer by the end of 2009 then the EU will pass legislation to make it mandatory, regardless of the cost.

15 countries have already signed up to the system, which puts a GSM mobile phone into every new car in Europe, along with a GPS system to report the current location and microphones around the car to pick up the screams of the injured. Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia, Malta and the UK are still holding out, with claims that the system will be expensive and not good value for money.

Assuming a very conservative 200 million cars in Europe, and taking the EU-estimated cost of €100 for the phone and GPS kit, then we can calculate a total cost of €40bn*, or a shade over £14m for each one of the 2500 lives saved. Some might argue that the money could be better spent, but that would be churlish.

Even the EU's own figures, taking into account the reduction in heath care and the cost of the lives lost (based on the assumption that if the emergency services get there quicker then less medical treatment is needed) only reckons the system will save €26bn.

Of course, many cars already have GPS kit, and embedded mobile phones even feature in some of the more expensive models, so this measure would only hit people buying cheap cars.

So an EU directive that forces another 200 million mobile-phones onto the public gets endorsed by an industry association that exists to promote the use of mobile phones. Clearly an example of corporate social responsibility, as EU Telecom's Commissioner Viviane Reding puts it:

"I congratulate the mobile phone industry for answering so promptly. By backing Europe's in-car emergency call system, they have shown their social responsibility and openness to innovative applications of communications technology in daily life." ®

* We could calculate it that way, and we did, but a more accurate number would be 20bn, which reduces the value of a life down to a more-reasonable figure if still more than we'd want to spend.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.