Emergency Calling Becomes Required in the EU

Automatic emergency calling functionality—“eCall”—becomes mandatory for all new cars and light commercial vehicles next Saturday (March 31) in the European Union.

Automatic emergency calling functionality—“eCall”—becomes mandatory for all new cars and light commercial vehicles next Saturday (March 31) in the European Union. This will mean on the order of 20-million vehicles a year within the EU.

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The objective is to reduce the time between an accident and the arrival of emergency services by as much as 50 percent. And by responding quicker, it is reckoned that fatalities can be reduced by about 10 percent.

According to semiconductor provider Infineon, while such automatic calling might otherwise require a SIM card, it has developed “eSIM” technology—10 years ago—that has the required functionality to make the connection.

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These chips, such as the SLI 97 product family are much smaller than SIM cards, yet meet demanding automotive requirements, such as temperature fluctuations (-40° to 105°C).

The chips are installed in vehicles at the factory and can be managed remotely, including over-the-air updates.

Mercedes has been deploying the eSIM in its Mercedes me connect system.