New Accident Alert Systems To Be Fitted In All New Cars.

Thursday, 23. October 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

After watching the accidents that appeared in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend it not only brought into focus the very high level of safety now in F1 cars but also the fact that even the precautions fitted to the cars can’t allow for the very infrequent freak accident that happened to Jules Bianchi, our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

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Much of the F1 technology has been transferred across to normal road cars, from tyres to brakes and traction control. Fatalities on UK roads are dropping, as is the seriousness of the injuries received by those caught up in the accidents. Volvo, known for their very high safety standards, have stated that by 2020 no one will be killed or seriously injured in their cars.

But having said that the EU believes there is more to be done across the board and has set targets for the introduction of automatic systems into all new type-approved cars that will automatically alert the emergency services should the car be involved in an accident along with a locator that will advise the emergency services the exact location of the vehicle.

The plan was to make this statutory from the start of 2015 but the car industry said it needed at least 3 years to test and implement such a scheme. They also need to decide upon an acceptable method of advising the emergency services across Europe. Some prestige cars already have an emergency system fitted into the car but it requires someone to activate it which then dials into the manufacturers own call centre who then has to do something to alert the emergency services.

Some have suggested the use of mobile phones but they are not too accurate when pinpointing location and an automatic alert app. would need to sense when the phone flies across a car in an accident. eCall is a device proposed by the EU in 2004 and is already being used by some manufacturers.

It is a box that detects an accident through sensors mounted in the car, calls the emergency services and pinpoints the location but the system still needs refinement and certainly won’t be ready for the launch date proposed by the EU, now moved back to October 2015. According to Volvo’s own system, On Call’s, product manager, Michael L Sena the industry would need a further 3 years before every new car was fitted with such a device. He also saw problems with setting up the infrastructure across Europe for the same device to work in every EU country.

It was a massive task and not one that could be completed in less than a year. He also pointed out the legal implications around data protection, human rights etc. many drivers would not be happy with someone somewhere knowing of their every move and being able to track them, something I touched on recently in one of my blogs.

The argument to that is that the system doesn’t track you, it only activates in the event of an accident. It is likely to happen though, as earlier in the year the EU voted for ‘the deployment of the necessary infrastructure’ to accommodate the new eCall system across Europe. So it should now be under way. By Graham Hill

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