Mobile Carriers Sign up to EU In-car Accident Alert System

E.U.’s mobile-phone industry on Wednesday signed up to eCall, a Europe-wide road accident alert system designed to reduce fatalities and serious accidents on the continent’s roads.

The technology involves an onboard device that automatically dials 112 — Europe’s single emergency number — and relays the exact location of the vehicle and the direction it is traveling in, using a mobile-phone signal and the vehicle’s GPS coordinates.

The device could be triggered by the opening of an airbag, for example. A phone line to the emergency services would automatically be opened, allowing the driver to talk to them, as well as automatically transferring the car’s coordinates.

Future models could be built into satellite navigation devices on the dashboard of the vehicle, mobile-phone industry group the GSMA said in a statement after signing up to eCall on behalf of the industry Wednesday.