"The Greens also felt that a system promoting accident rescue is the wrong approach and the emphasis should be on safer driving."
Yes, because once I have this, I will make more of an effort to slam my car into a tree at 90 mph.
New cars sold in the EU from March 2018 will have to phone the authorities if they think they've been in a crash. A watered-down version of the eCall proposal has found favour with the EU Commission, meaning when a car or light van crashes, it will automatically summon the emergency services. It will use the emergency number …
If the Volvo drivers of times gone by are anything to go by, they'd make more effort to drive into a passing motorcyclist. The idea being that when you feel safer you become more complacent. And it would probably be fair to say that, actually, it's not an effort, it's unconscious (and thus requires training to overcome).
Eventually they'll link the acceleration sensor of mobile phones to some sort of biometric sensor in, say, a watch, so that if a pedestrian or cyclist gets hit, the phone they were holding in their hand as they tried to cross the southbound slip road of junction 6 of the M62 will fall to the floor, trigger the sensor, and in conjunction with the fading pulse, a call will be placed to the ambulance service. Or the Coop.
I doubt that in reality people will even remember they've got this system and so I doubt that it'll ad to their sense of security. Airbags and crash structures do, in my opinion but not this.
I also note that the article claims this comes from the "EU Commission" but then later we read that it came from a group of MEPs. The latter seems to be correct if other web sites are to be believed.
No just no, I would like to live thank you, as would the driver who smashed into me.
I still get flash backs of the car infront of me swerving into oncoming traffic (suspect broken wheel), the the car they hit head on spun put of control smashing into me.
So 3 deaths would be a good idea then?
More safety the better, I called 999 for Ambulance and Police, the other two cars were twisted pile of metal and I drove home with a slightly bent but beyond economic repair car (£2500 to repair to a decent standard)
Or so the "experts" used to say in the twenties - they would only encourage reckless driving. Every safety improvement on cars draws a lunatic response. Furthermore, why shouldn't cars have a black box - aren't the rest of us entitled to know whether a potentially lethal piece of kit was being operated safely in a public space?
So we should make car seats out of razor blades. Also just say there is an airbag when there is not for 1 in a 100.
You'd drive safe just in case it was yours ;)
This reminds me of a sign I saw once. "This site is protected by shotgun security one day a week. You guess which one!"
will fall to the floor, trigger the sensor, and in conjunction with the fading pulse, a call will be placed to the ambulance service.
There are already apps for this. Realrider, designed for motorcyclists, has this:
Key sensors in your Smartphone look for changes such as rapid deceleration, tumbling motion followed by a period of non-movement. If your REALRIDER® app detects a crash, an alert is triggered.
If you’re OK, you can deactivate the alert to prevent your information from being sent to the NHS. If the alert is untouched, the phone will send your location, medical details and mobile phone number to the Ambulance Control Room.
You might make less of an effort to avoid slamming into a tree at 90mph if you believe yourself to be safer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_compensation
The safest car is one driven by someone who is REALLY trying to avoid having a crash, no seatbelt, no ABS, nice hard surfaces to cannon into that would make sure lots of bones are broken - basically a 1950's American car - would arguably be safer than todays modern vehicles in terms of getting people to pay attention.
The greens probably have a point.
100 per new car is a phenomenal amount of money. Well over 10,000,000,000. Annually.
It would lead to one hell of a road safety campaign, and given the cut in death toll many of these have caused in the past, it's not hard to think it may well exceed the impact these devices will have.
Fair point that this may not be the best way to save lives (actually not sure it would save any, except in fairly rare cases), but 10 billion is out by an order of magnitude
Total cars sales in EU and EFTA = 13 million, so the cost for all new cars would be 1.3 billion
“Quicker response from the emergency services to accidents on roads across Europe could save about 2,500 lives in the EU every year. The severity of injuries will also be considerably reduced in tens of thousands of cases.”
How will the system determine that emergency services are actually required? Or is it a case in the political heads that airbag deployment automatically equals serious enough to call the services.?
As for the "Severity of injuries" .... can someone with a command of logic please step up to the podium and explain that one.
If the airbag is deployed then it will be reasonable to expect the car will not be going anywhere under it's own steam again so if it is on the road the Police would be needed for traffic flow/recovery etc, if it's off the road then the accident is likely to be more critical.
Also any activation of the airbag should have an ambulance assessment for C-Spine injuries as the forces involved will definitely point to that mechanic of injury.
If you are sure you don't want the emergency services there then you can always call them yourself straight away and tell them there is no problem. It would be likely that the reason for this would be an intoxicated driver so the Police might just turn up anyway.
The lady making the comment is Czech, so I imagine there's a bit of "lost in translation" there. I think she means that the impact of any severe injuries will be less. If I have an accident and am bleeding badly, my prognosis is much better if help can arrive more quickly.
But yes, airbag deployment doesn't automatically mean that you need medical attention. Having said that, it's hard to imagine an accident severe enough to cause the airbags to deploy where the authorities in some respect would not be involved. Even if you drive into a tree all on your own and are unhurt due to the airbags etc, you've still damaged the tree, which is someone else's property, so the owner of the damaged property has a claim against you.
I can see this being used to inform the authorities about severe accidents, even if the accident doesn't require someone to show up with blues and twos.
"Severity of injuries"
You may well injure yourself but some times the severity of it depends on quick access to medical professionals and equipment. A cut may not be severe but if it leads to a large blood loss then it becomes severe. A broken bone may not be severe but if it obstructs your blood flow for a long time then it is.
Rapid medical assessment, treatment and extraction often reduces the severity or even the fatality of an injury.
I certainly think that the last 20 seconds of speed data should be transmitted along with the other information, and also the record of the "bums on seats" sensors and/or safety belts-buckled sensors.
Then there's also the issue of multiple-vehicle incidents. Will the system perform some sort of cluster analysis and determine that there's a two/three/four car incident at the same location, rather than load-balance the dispatch and route two ambulances from different stations to the same two car incident?
"I certainly think that the last 20 seconds of speed data should be transmitted along with the other information, and also the record of the "bums on seats" sensors and/or safety belts-buckled sensors."
This is why it's taken so long to get to this point and why the "bare minimum" of data has been agreed should be sent. It's to minimise any future feature creep. If, as you suggest, the data you list is sent because it might be useful, then even more data would be even more useful. Maybe it should have a built in GPS tracker and it could send the last 2 minutes of location data too? Or maybe the last hour, just in case you might have visited a pub. See where it leads when you want more?
As some ancient Chinese gentleman once said, "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it"
I must admit I'm struggling to think of any make/model of brand new car today which doesn't have at least a drivers air bag of some sort as standard.
Can anybody shed light on such a vehicle on-sale in Europe today? Apparently they're only recommended in Europe (link) but are mandatory in the USA
In countries which don't have 100% mobile network coverage? Presumably, the worse the coverage, the further from centres of population and the more important that help be called, yet the less likely that the call can be made.
I'm also suspicious of any analysis which states 'x lives will be saved if...' - are there really so many accidents throughout the EU which happen without witnesses, most of whom are likely to be carrying phones anyway?
 e.g. the UK.
No worse than whatever happened previously.
If you can't get a cellphone signal, you can't phone for help yourself either.
Likely the in-car thing will actually have a better aerial than your phone, though.
And there isn't much land nowadays that can't get GPRS at minimum.
If anything, surely this is a boost to GET that 100% coverage that everyone wants?
All GSM compliant phones will use any available network to place an emergency call - not just your network. The phone doesn't even need a SIM, either.
Most people at some point will have seen the 'Emegency Calls Only' message on their phone where the name of the network operator normally resides.
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@1980s - I have. And bits of the Middle east have (had) a similar issue. Fun, isn't it?
@Just Enough - my point is not that it doesn't work, but that it's redundant. If there is sufficient population that there is a working phone network, I would argue that there are likely to be witnesses (possibly also the participants) who are very likely to have phones of their own. I was asking if there are really two and a half thousand fatal accidents per year throughout Europe where there *is* coverage but no witnesses per year.
Though having seen some of the accident compilations from the old Eastern Block countries on YouTube (and witnessed some of the driving standards) it does seem possible.
"We ensured that the vehicles equipped with 112 public eCall are not traceable and are not subject to constant tracking."
"In fact, the device will upgrade the data constantly and keep the minimum information required to handle the emergency calls."
With my not-so-tinfoil hat on, I think this last bit should be more like: "In fact the device will have whatever half-assed security we decide to throw into it, and by the time the NSA and GCHQ (or even just a bored script kiddie) have finished with it it will be thoroughly pwned and they can then use it to track you, and should they be so inclined, modify the data and/or 'test' the functionality."
Well if implemented as specified then the system won't have a physical transmission feature until the sensors are deployed therefore emote hacking should not be possible (assuming the sensors couldn't be overridden by the CAN bus via bluetooth). It would not stop someone physically interfering with the device to allow tracking by the spooks would just install their own tracker in that case anyway.
Well if implemented as specified then the system won't have a physical transmission feature until the sensors are deployed
Which means it'll take precious time waking up, scanning for networks, decide which one it likes and (if it's SIM equipped) then also try to log in before it can transmit. Judging by how long my phone takes to go live when I land in another country, that does not fill me with confidence.
why the *EU* is trying to mandate this?
Is it a free-trade issue? Required for international cooperation? Are some countries put at a disadvantage due to the imbalance of car sim devices?
Whether or not its a good idea, I don't know why the EU is involved. It looks to me like self-important meddling in the affairs of nation-states. What number are they going to dial? Who exactly are they going to report to? Along with the sim device, will they need a GPS? If you're on the Belgian side of the border but nearer a French hospital, who's going to help? I see feature creep in the future.
why the *EU* is trying to mandate this?
Maybe to try and help save lives?
Is it a free-trade issue? Required for international cooperation? Are some countries put at a disadvantage due to the imbalance of car sim devices?
One possibility is that by all EU countries having the same system, manufacturers can keep costs down ?
What number are they going to dial?
RTFA - 112
Who exactly are they going to report to?
Whoever answers 112!
Along with the sim device, will they need a GPS?
Unknown: But mobile phone networks can do a fair job of triangulating your position. Granted, it's not as accurate as GPS, but it'll get you close.
If you're on the Belgian side of the border but nearer a French hospital, who's going to help?
This has nothing to do with hospitals. It has everything with getting help (e.g. the police) out to asses the situation and call on whatever aid is required.
As to the point about picking up the wrong country's mobile network when near to a border: I suspect the authorities already have procedures in place for handling this: These devices aren't going to be the first to dial 112 near a national border on a mobile phone.
I see feature creep in the future.
On this point, I can agree with you.
Q - "Is this a free trade issue?"
A - Yes.
If Germany decide that they want this system implemented by law then all cars sold in Germany need to meet that law. Because you can sell products across borders without restriction (in theory) that means that any car for sale in Europe must meet the German standard.
Also, if Germany wants to introduce this kind of law, then it is not unreasonable to think that other countries would want to do something similar. if they all develop their own national standards then you will duplicate a lot of work and probably end up with functionally similar but technically slightly incompatible systems.
all of which need to be covered off in a new car design.
which makes it more complicated for the manufacturer.
which makes it more expensive for the consumer.
So yeah, it makes perfect sense for Europe to collaborate on this.
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Yes, but you are replying to someone whose political hero was nearly killed in a stupid air accident while trailing a banner.
I'm going to assume you're referring to me, in which case it just shows that you haven't a clue about my political affiliations. Believe it or not, it is possible to hold the view that decisions should be made at the lowest practical level, without being a UKIP supporter. In fact the principle of subsidiarity is supposedly a fundamental principle of the EU itself.
Anyone else wonder...
why the *EU* is trying to mandate this?
You get downvoted to hell on here for suggesting that the EU shouldn't be regulating more and more. For some reason a lot of readers seem to think that making laws at the highest level is better than making them at the lowest practical level - eg national, in this case. This is also why we now have cars driving in bright sunshine in Spain or Italy but lit up like Christmas trees, rather than allowing countries in the north where permanent driving lights might make sense to make their own decisions.
I'll agree with the concept of implementing laws at the lowest possible level - in fact, I think in a lot of cases the level should be a lot lower than it currently is. Why should income tax be the same in Newcastle as in London, for example? Or interest rates, for that matter (interest rates appropriate for London are almost certainly too high for Newcastle... but I digress).
Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights? Apart from, possibly, aesthetics, but that's a matter of taste.
Also, it makes drivers who aren't thinking worse..
Having been overtaken at 2100 on the M6 by a car only on DRL's..
Points I noted: I was blinded by them, traffic on the other side probably were too, and the driver was probably thinking "I can see, everything is fine"
Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights? Apart from, possibly, aesthetics, but that's a matter of taste
The argument goes that once DRLs are implemented, the relative visibility of road users out-with the scope of the regs will be reduced and that vehicle operators will tend to downgrade the attention paid to unlit road users.
"Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights?"
It depends on how they are implemented. Some can be distractingly bright in a rear-view mirror at dusk or even just on a dull day. Especially the LED ones. There doesn't appear to be any proper legislation on the brightness of car lights other than filament bulb wattage and a woolly description of your lights not dazzling/affecting other drivers. Try telling that to someone driving towards you with tight focus halogens on a slightly bumpy road when it's not even dark enough to need headlights but the dumb driver has them set to auto switch and the manufacture set the trigger point on the premise of "better safe the sorry".
"For some reason a lot of readers seem to think that making laws at the highest level is better than making them at the lowest practical level - eg national, in this case"
Multinational Car manufacturers laugh at your tiny divisions. The last thing they want is having to design and market umpteen different models because each country in the EU has different rules. Drivers also aren't interested in having to modify their cars every time they cross a border. They want to know that the car they bought is Spain is legal to drive in Denmark.
And before it's pointed out; yes of course LHD and RHD is a variation. But it's a historical variation everyone is stuck with. We don't need to add to it.
"why the *EU* is trying to mandate this?"
Dunno I don't remember voting for it?
I don't remember voting and wouldn't for 90% of what the EU do.
That is why local politicians love the EU, it gives us voters what the local politicians think is good for us without them having to worry about us agreeing or not.
An enormous and hugely expensive organisation allowing the 'right thinking' political elite to bypass democracy - that alone is more than enough reason for us to get out.
"I don't remember voting for it"
Hate to break it to you, but you don't get a vote on most things...
That isn't how our system (or any that i know of) works.
You vote for a representative to go to parliament and look at all the legislation that is going on and decide if it is a good idea or not to enact it. They look at the evidence, pros and cons and make the best decision that they can (or at least, that is the theory).
Thing is, there is a huge amount of legislation going through Westminster all the time. here is a handy list of some of the more recently enabled acts, most of which i confess i have never heard of:
aside from the fact that it would be incredibly difficult to understand all of those acts to a level where you can judge if it is a good or bad thing, can you imagine the logistics of trying to elicit a vote from everyone on all of them? I cannot see how it would work.
if there is one thing that is really important for you, then write to your MP about it and get him/her to do something. But you are never going to get a vote on every last thing going through Westminster and to be honest i don't think that you would want that anyway.
If you do want to be involved, become an MP. i believe there are currently about 630 vacancies looking ot be filled in the next week or so...
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"why the *EU* is trying to mandate this?"
Simple. Rent-seeking. You make eCall boxes. You've got them installed in a couple of cars. You lobby the EU to make installation mandatory in all new cars and you have a much larger business. Once you have them established, you can then boost revenues via scope creep. There are soo many potential revenue streams from in-car telematics from road charging to insurance or auto-generating speeding tickets. All via a simple OTA update or update when the vehicle's in for servicing.
using the fading power of the car's battery which was shattered on impact or, as happened to me once, the frontal impact shunted the battery compartment just enough to snap the power leads.
I do hope they thought to require this unit has it's own power source. But not one of those Li-on batteries otherwise rather than save your life it could torch your car for you http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/29/boffins_blow_up_batteries_so_you_dont_have_to/
Here you are. Read on. And be prepared to be patronised...
So now you can see that there's nothing to be worried about.
No, really, there isn't.
Nothing at all....
Note that while stating that e-call is different from private subscriber services, they didn't give any reason WHY we shouldn't be concerned for our privacy.
"We are frequently getting contacted by citizens concerned that by having eCall installed in their vehicles, their location will be continuously tracked, their driving habits monitored and their private life infringed."
I like how it doesn't say "That's not going to happen."
From that PDF at the end...
The consumer is thus given with the option to choose the free public 112 Pan-European eCall, or at his/her own will engage in a contract with a private third party service provider. In the former case there are absolutely no privacy issues. In the latter case, the vehicle owner will be asked to provide a written consent in case the vehicle location will be continuously tracked in order to enable third party value added services.
Fast forward five years to 2023 to a car insurance website near you...
Typical car insurance form which includes the following...
Apply 50% discount to insurance quote...
[X] Yes, I want a 50% reduction on each monthly payment. *
[ ] No, I do not want a 50% reduction on each monthly payment.
Followed by the small print in which is buried the following:
Blah blah. 50% discount requires a car fitted with e-Call and the installation of our TPS e-Call 50% Discount Plug-in initially supplied by us to the customer on USB memory stick. Once installed plug-in can automatically update to the latest best version OTA. Uninstallation of plug-in means customer will voluntarily decides to stop receiving the 50% discount. TPS e-Call 50% Discount Plug-in complies with standard EN 16102:2011. We take your privacy seriously, we protect your data with something called a digital certificate and all data is backed up at our data centre in Utah, USA under Safe Harbour guidelines. Blah blah.
I think you're right. Not least because the chances of the emergency services despatching fleets of police, ambulances, and fire/rescue vehicles to some on the uncorroborated say-so of an automated phone module are slim to none. These are going to end up being treated like burglar alarms, ie ignored unless there's a follow-up voice call.
"BMW have problems making the indicators work on most of their cars"
It's a general German car problem, though it seems to affect some Indian cars as well (like Range Rovers). The heavy weight of entitlement, smartwatches and so on pressing on the driver's left arm makes it hard to operate the indicators.
What could possibly go wrong with that plan?
It's fortunate that we can trust our governments to never abuse such technology to monitor anyone's movements.
How long before insurance companies insist that the hardware is accessible to locate and recover stolen vehicles or even to ensure that speed limits are not exceeded at any time.
The system only ever activates in the case of a crash with airbags going off - on my own car it sends out an SMS to a call center (location, direction travelling etc.), and then tries to phone them if the signal is strong enough. If I am unresponsive then emergency services are called. The system is not even powered up for external signals except in a crash or if I press the emergency button. The one in my car also has a 'breakdown' button which will connect me to a breakdown service even if I don't have a mobile phone with me - all pretty useful. Reducing the human error in horrendous accidents is definitely going to save lives, the system does not seem open to abuse, and europe has a pretty big thing about privacy, so I'm not terrified that the data will be released to a 3rd party without a good legal reason for doing so (for instance lying about the speed you were going in a crash to avoid liability)
The system is not even powered up for external signals except in a crash or if I press the emergency button
Never the less it is there. It's not powered up NOW, but once everyone has gotten used to the idea that it's there and can't be removed, it becomes a much simpler matter to legislate - or even for insurers to simply demand - that it be on all the time. It's a step down a road I don't want to take. Neither my government nor my insurance company has any business keeping track of where I am all the time - especially since at least one of those parties seems pathologically incapable of keeping such information to themselves.
Let me get this right.
Under current legislation it is illegal to use your mobile phone in a petrol station (you are meant to turn it off) for fears of it causing an explosion BUT
A. You wont be able to turn off eCall as it's built in.
B. If you are in accident it'll make a call to the police even if there is a chance of a fuel leak and thus a possibility of an explosion...
Seems that one law is blocked by another here.
"I don't think that's actually illegal..."
The one thing that could cause a mobile phone to initiate a petrol vapour explosion is battery rupture - which could equally well happen with the phone switched off.
But the main practical reason why I don't make phone calls at petrol statiosn is because with the standard of driving you find in them, constant attention is needed to avoid being hit by a careless driver.
On the other hand,
a) such devices already exist, and if there have been instances they should have been acted upon already
b) if it is mandated, then the specification will probably also include requirements that the device should not present a hazard if use, and some form of safety testing to confirm that before the device is incorporated into a vehicle.
> ... it is illegal to use your mobile phone in a petrol station for fears of it causing an explosion ...
There was never evidence of an explosion risk. There *was* evidence that mobile phones interfered with the pump metering/monitoring systems, so you could get more fuel than the cash register realised. I.e. another fake safety concern wheeled out to achieve something unrelated to safety, just like this latest proposal.
"There *was* evidence that mobile phones interfered with the pump metering/monitoring systems..."
No there wasn't. A few years ago I was looking at whether we could use a GPRS credit card terminal for taking payments at a private fueling area (yes, before you ask, all legal just on private property). So I researched this issue of using mobile phones in petrol stations to see where the issue lay and how we could mitigate it (for instance by keeping it in a metal box etc).
The only thing I could find was a report that detailed the risk of battery powered devices which may be dropped on the floor at which point the battery detaching from the device could cause a spark and the resulting spark could cause ignition of petrol vapour.
This report seemed to led to a decision by other parties that mobile phones were a possible candidate of this event (nothing to do with the actual transceiver, radio waves etc). Therefore they were banned in a chain of petrol stations. This created a domino effect where other petrol stations banned their use without knowing exactly why, just that mobile phones shouldn't be used. In the end it seems that many myths surround why they aren't allowed (even though most batteries are now fixed in smartphones) but the simple case is there is very little risk of using a mobile phone in a petrol station and none under normal use.
I find it interesting that on a site dedicated to technology & geeks/nerds of all kinds & probably all shades of XYZ-hat hackers that not one has suggested simply finding the fuse/power feed and disabling it or finding the transmitter or SIM card and removing it from the vehicle for regular use (replacing it for MOTs etc if its tested for, which seems unlikely)
see the list of footnotes, beginning with:
"except lawfully allowed local, national, and EU-wide law enforcement agencies and other authorised bodies"
"except when the information on you which we do not track, store, transfer or otherwise, has been mis-placed on a usb flash drive sent from [undiclosed] to [undisclosed]
"we can not be held responsible for unauthorised tracking by foreign superpower(s)."
CAUTION! If you get blown up by a stray missile, you may still email your complaint to the bloke behind the fence on the other side of the pond.
but once the system is in place, or close enough, I bet all types of "authorities" and "services" will very much gain access to such wonderful tracking system. And they will, quietly, under this or that pretence, and this or that article of this or that code.
Obviously, all those driving older vehicles will become likely suspects, and monitoring their movement will be so much easier (by other means).
Oh, and wait for the system development disabling cars which are deemed to drive "dangerously". Insurance companies, ahoy...
...why not just give the car owner the option of disabling the device if the public's reaction to tracking is so severe?
Because that implies that the purpose of the device is to serve the interests of the person on whose car the device is installed. The purpose of the device is to serve the interests of those selling the device, and ultimately the interests of those who can sell the data collected by the device.
So yet another attempt at consumer funded privacy invasion, if the idea was ever to improve safety then they would start with a driving examination that actually tested if you were safe to drive. Instead we have the way you drive to pass the exam and how everyone else drives once the have a license neither of which has safety being paramount.
So who is to blaim for these continuing attempts to remove your privacy and make you pay for it? You the apathetic majority are, if you do not take an interest in politics and the world around you then others who want to impose their will upon you are more than happy to make you pay for the priviledge of building your own prison.
Already your options are being limited because of data captured about you, data that you are not allowed to see or change. This will continue until either you take an interest or you forget there was ever any right to privacy.
" if the idea was ever to improve safety then they would start with a driving examination that actually tested if you were safe to drive."
I don't think science has reached this point yet. We can't even reliably establish whether a serial killer is mentally ill or whether an airline pilot has the desire to commit mass murder, even after extensive investigation.
Bring on the self driving car for roads and let people do what they like on tracks (subject to affording the third party insurance)
Well lets take this for one.
There is a well known village in Kent that has frankly shitty UK Mobile reception. On the otherhand the french networks are loud and clear. So you have a prang and the car connects to Orange FR and sends it details off.
The french emergency people fire up their Pompiers et Sapiers vehicles only to find their way blocked by 1) striking dockers at Calais
2) La Manche.
Repeat for any prang close to a border with another country.
They have your location, they just send the request through to the local police force. This happens in the UK even among the different emergency service boundaries (which may or may not coincide with each other).
All emergency services are quite adept at handing the call over to the relevant authority if wrongly directed (normally this is done before that point at the call centre itself)
I can't believe how many people have fallen for the EU's cover story that it's all about getting you an ambulance PDQ.
The odds that in SE England I'll have an accident in the middle of nowhere (but with mobile coverage and a nearby ambulance station), be seriously injured (but savable), in a wrecked car (but with e-Call miraculously undamaged), be incapable of dialling 999 and absolutely nobody noticing are close to zero. I'm happy to take my chances.
The real objective is to install a GPS tracking system and a remotely controlled microphone into all our cars to enable surveillance, eavesdropping and road charging. They'll probably add CCTV later ('just so we can see whether you're injured')... and then Orwell's TeleScreen will be with you wherever you go.
I'd call the odds of having an accident serious enough to leave you dazed to respond when spoken OR dial the emergency number while everyone else ignores you to be passing fair. Meanwhile, the e-Call unit is on the car's roof, which is less likely to be damaged in your average accident (it tends to only be vulnerable in lorry collisions and rollovers, both unlikely). Meanwhile, you or one of your passengers could be bleeding out (also a distinct possibility), meaning seconds count.
How many people drive offroad? I do. Ive had a shunt big enough to set airbags in a modern car off (sorry tree) as indicated by the size of the hammer to straighten out the banana shaped front bumper on my elderly landrover but somehow miraculously managed to not need rescuing or emergency services.
As it was I was about 15 ft from a public road (on land I owned), and of nobodies concern or business but mine, In fact the field it was in means that could have been 5ft, so firmly identifiable as a road by a average gps tracking system.
I wonder if that happens in a more modern vehicle, instead of quietly needing a large hammer later on ready to prepare it for the next session, Id be having to talk to numerous people having wasted vast amounts of resources tracking me down to assist me if I need it or not.
Mandatory, not possible to be disabled. No thank you.
Got this in mine, it contacts BMW first (112 direct if unable to reach them) with sensor data and establishes a voice call so its fleshy occupants can then tell the lovely person that you do/don't need the emergency services as required. Plus button to press up on the ceiling should you witness an accident and need assistance or be in something minor enough that it doesn't make the automatic call and you really do need someone.
As it screams at BMW, it means that the onus is on the car manufacturer to get good quality sensor data / provide a system that doesn't make a call to the boys in blue every time a fly hits the windscreen.
If you're the one unconscious you'd probably like to know that the emergency services are already being alerted before other witnesses/injured souls have probably even gotten their phones out of their pockets/figured out if they're still in one piece/which way is up. Hopefully I never have to use it of course but its something I hadn't even thought about since the dealer gave a quick blurb overview of it... until this article anyway :)
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