eCall Project To Boost In-car Telematics

Automotive telematics devices are gaining momentum across Europe’s cache of motorists, and the market is expected to continue to grow over the next five years, according to a report published by telecom business intelligence researcher Berg Insight, writes Martin Conway.

This growth is being bolstered largely by the EC-initiated eCall project, which aims to roll out ‘black box technology’ for passenger cars across the European Union by 2014. Should motorists be involved in a collision on the continent, hardware installed in the vehicle will send wireless data to local emergency responders, detailing factors such as airbag deployment and impact sensor readings, as well as enabling emergency calls using the dialling code 112.

The report identifies some 4.3m passenger cars on the continent as having already adopted on-board telematics devices, thereby enabling their owners to access automatic emergency calling, in addition to services such as stolen vehicle tracking and motor insurance telematics. Although the penetration rate for the European passenger car sector is believed to be below 2 per cent at present, Berg Insight claims that the popularity of these devices is set to boom this decade, notwithstanding reluctance so far from the UK and France to fully throw themselves behind the eCall initiative.

Berg Insight concludes its report with the prediction that implementation of the safety system will lead to 28.7m telematics-enabled cars in Europe in 2015, with some 15m joining this total on a year-on-year basis.