eCall is an in-vehicle safety device which manually or automatically generates a call in the event of an accident, establishing a voice link to the emergency services and transmitting data that specifies the vehicle’s details and location. This has the potential to reduce the response time of emergency services, which may in turn reduce casualties and reduce disruption to other traffic.
This study is intended to support the evidence base that will feed into policy development in the UK. Evidence is available from a UK study in 2006, work for the Highways Agency on the implications of eCall for their operations, and a European study on the potential impact of eCall which was completed for the European Commission in 2009 and included a UK case study.
These studies provide information on the status of the eCall service chain, institutional issues associated with implementation and assessments of the costs and benefits under a range of scenarios which represent different potential options for the roll-out of eCall and the timescales over which the ‘fleet’ of vehicles on the roads would be equipped with eCall devices.
This report reviews the evidence, summarises the current status of eCall implementation in the UK and the costs and benefits for the UK, and discusses implementation issues and risks and the implications of the various European policy options. On the basis of the conclusions drawn from this analysis, a series of recommendations are made for further eCall activities in the UK.

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