There are plenty of articles about IoT and other new technologies describing what it will be like in the future. I’m always pleased when we get from an initial idea at least to a prototype. For example I can’t wait for Apellix drone to paint my house or clean the windows 🙂
The original concept of European Automatic Emergency Call (eCall) was presented back in 1999. Since that time the project was delayed several times and it was difficult to find anything we could really touch except for some powerpoints. Finally it has started to work at least in pilots. In Prague, Czech republic the first car recently called 112 (emergency) because of a real road accident.
eCall is a system which sends an automatic message to an emergency call centre in the event of a serious road accident. A device automatically dials 112 and wirelessly sends airbag deployment and impact sensor information, as well as GPS coordinates to local emergency agencies. The advantage is that the system should be standardized across the European countries. Moreover all the cars in EU since 2018 have to be then equipped with an eCall device. Right now it’s being supported by several car makers such as Ford, BMW, Citroen, Peugeot or Mercedes. Also Bosch Service Solutions in cooperation with Daimler AG offers the eCall Service. The project is officially supported by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), an interest group of European car, bus, and truck manufacturers, and ERTICO.
In USA we have a similar OnStar service which is a bit broader solution provided by GM. System is available for quite a few years already. Since 2014 operates GM, through a partnership with AT&T, over LTE and supports more than 30 vehicle models. Today, OnStar handles on average two calls every second, 185,000 calls per day, and four million requests for assistance every month, including 100,000 emergency responses and 5,000 automatic crash responses every month (details here). OnStar is also available in Canada, Brasil, Argentina, Mexico or China. The solution provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics. In case of an accident, built-in sensors can automatically alert an OnStar Advisor with airbag status, information about direction of impact, speed or if the car did a rollover, and predict the severity of injuries.