Feeds

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

GPS and a mobe in every car - do you suppose the NSA would fancy that?

High performance access to file storage

The European Union's plan to insist every new car on the road by 2015 includes a mobile device that phones home after a crash is set to become reality, after the European Commission signed off draft legislation to enact the scheme. Assent from the European Parliament and Council of the European Union is now required, but little opposition is expected.

The idea behind the scheme, known as eCall, is simple: when a car crashes, an on-board device that combines a GPS and mobile communications device will contact Europe's '112' emergency services number. By automating that call, legislators expect emergency services response will be faster, which will mean lives will be saved.

The EU says “Taking into account economies of scale, installation of the eCall in-vehicle system is estimated to cost much less than €100 per new car.”

As we've previously noted, the idea is noblebut with 250m cars in the EU multiplied by 100 Euros, the bill gets very large over time.

The upside is an expected 2,500 lives saved over ten years and a likely boost for sim-free devices on mobile networks, which should please those keen on an internet of things and more machine-to-machine communications.

On such applications, the EU offers the following scenarios:

“It is also expected that the eCall technology platform capabilities (i.e., positioning, processing and communication modules) could be exploited for additional services (e.g., advanced insurances schemes, stolen vehicles tracking etc).”

Before we start imagining “PRISM for cars” it's worth noting the spec means eCall units are "... not traceable and when there is no emergency (its normal operational status) it is not subject to any constant tracking."

The EU also says "As it is not permanently connected to mobile networks, hackers cannot take control of it."

That means it is probably too early to wonder if “advanced insurances” [sic] could mean insurers tracking drivers to create tailored products and being asked nicely, and secretly, to share that data with law enforcement agencies.

A colossal infographic neatly explaining the eCall system can be found here

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.