This emergency call system detects an accident using such means as the activation of air bags and, with the assumption that the driver will be unable to notify the proper authorities themselves, automatically notifies a call center regarding the location of the vehicle. The call center will attempt to contact the driver while notifying the fire department and other agencies. By ensuring rescue and emergency medical services are promptly made aware of accident information and thus able to begin treatment at an earlier stage, this system is expected to contribute to a higher survival rate and prevent injuries from worsening.
This initiative has already been launched in Russia and the European Union. In Russia, new vehicles have been required to include the "ERA-GLONASS" emergency call system since January 2017, while in the European Union, new vehicles have been required to include the "eCall" emergency call system since April 2018. The European Commission has estimated that the introduction of eCall will "shorten time required to reach traffic accident sites by 40-50%" and "reduce the number of fatalities from traffic accidents by 2,500 persons a year"*1.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations*2 adopted the international standard for "accident emergency call systems" in November 2017. Following this, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism also introduced this same standard in Japan in July 2018 and established performance standards. The Ministry plans to apply this standard to new vehicle models from January 2020 and existing vehicle models from July 2021.
- *1 European Commission, 11/10/2005, Saving travelers' lives: Commission urges Member States to improve their responses to 112 emergency calls
- *2 World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP29): Working party under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which possesses six specialty subcommittees. Operating from the perspective of easily spreading safe vehicles with high level environmental functionality, this working party for the global harmonization of vehicle safety/environmental standards and promotes international mutual authorization of governmental vehicle certification. (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism materials [WP29 Outline])