Telematics eCall plug
eCall: guardian angel in the cigarette lighter
Reading time: 10 minutes
Since March 31, 2018, every new car in Europe must be equipped with eCall, an automatic emergency call system. After a severe car accident, it automatically calls for the emergency services. Benjamin Cohrs learned firsthand how important the retrofit Telematics eCall plug from Bosch and the German Insurance Association (GDV) can be in a car crash.
Benjamin Cohrs knows all too well that the retrofit can pay off. “Small, inconspicuous, but effective,” is how he describes the Telematics eCall plug. The 26-year-old still clearly remembers the accident he had on a country road just three months after getting his license. “All of a sudden there was a horrible collision and the airbags triggered,” he says. Another car had failed to yield and rammed him from the side. “Fortunately, I had the Telematics eCall plug on board.” By that time, the plug had already registered the strength of the impact and recognized that the car had not simply hit a pothole. Via GPS, it determined the car’s location data, which it sent along with the emergency call to the accident command center via Benjamin’s smartphone. When this happens, data protection is a major priority. That’s why the Telematics eCall plug does not create movement profiles and only sends information in the case of an accident.
Guaranteed fast localization
“I was in shock,” said Benjamin Cohrs. Shortly after the crash, his phone rang. “A person from the emergency call center was on the line and asked how I and the other people in the accident were doing and if we needed an ambulance,” he says. “The call helped snap me out of my state of shock and assess the situation.” If he had been unable to answer the call, the emergency services would have been sent out immediately.
But the paramedics were not necessary in this case as no one was injured. Thankfully, the accident call service did call the police at Benjamin’s request, providing them with the location data. “And a good thing, too,” says Benjamin, “because I wouldn’t have been able to describe where I was.” So he’s happy to recommend the Telematics eCall plug to others. “New drivers in particular will be much safer with it — and their parents can sleep easier at night,” he says.
Emergency call system mandatory
Imagine this scenario: a car skids off the road, rolls over, and slides down an embankment. The people inside the vehicle are trapped and their lives in danger, but no one observed the accident on a deserted country road. Valuable time could pass before any help arrives. In Europe, a new law is aimed at preventing such horrific scenarios as this.
Since March 31, 2018, all new cars must be equipped with an automatic emergency call system on board. If an emergency occurs, the “eCall” (emergency call) apparatus sends an emergency call, including the location data of the vehicle, to the accident command center. This real-time data transfer can save lives.
One for all
Because the eCall is only mandatory for new vehicle models, however, it could take years before the technology becomes widespread. The technology for the eCall system is pre-installed in a car while on the assembly line - this is why only new cars come with the capability. Owners of older cars who do not wish to go without the life-saving device can obtain a practical retrofit option from Bosch: the Telematics eCall plug, which can be installed in an instant. Simply plug the device into the cigarette lighter and connect it to the corresponding app on your smartphone via Bluetooth — and you’ve got a complete eCall emergency call system on board.
Sensors make the difference
The Telematics eCall plug features acceleration sensors and intelligent algorithms. If the vehicle is impacted, the sensors measure the impact forces and classify them on a scale of one to four. This prevents false alarms.
The plug can tell the difference between a jolt due to a bump on the ground, a fender-bender in the parking lot and a true road accident. It only sends out the emergency call in the latter case.
With the Telematics eCall plug, drivers can quickly and easily install the eCall function for the car. In an accident, it calls the emergency call center and thus can save lives.