16 Feb 2018


eCall (European) and ERA GLONASS (Russian) are initiatives for automated emergency response systems. They combine mobile communications and satellite positioning to provide rapid assistance to motorists in the event of a collision.

Car crash

European eCall and Russian ERA‑GLONASS are initiatives for combining mobile communications and satellite positioning to provide rapid assistance to motorists in the event of a collision. These systems are also called automated emergency response systems.

The systems, eCall based on GPS and ERA-GLONASS on GLONASS, monitor in‑vehicle sensors for such events as airbag deployment to automatically transmit location details and summon assistance via an emergency cellular service. The intentions of both systems is to reduce adverse consequences from road accidents in Europe and Russia.

When activated, the in‑vehicle systems automatically initiate an emergency call carrying both voice and data (including location data) directly to the nearest public safety answering point to determine if rescue services should be dispatched to the known position.

The core functionality of both systems is managed by an embedded computer that continuously monitors the crash sensors and satellite positioning receiver. If emergency conditions are detected, the system initiates an automated data and full duplex voice call via a dedicated wireless modem (e.g. GSM, UMTS). In‑band modem capability, i.e. the ability to transmit data over the voice channel, is a key requirement for both systems.

The goal is to equip all cars in the EU and Russia with dedicated hardware, either as a first-mount unit in new cars or installed as after-market devices in pre‑existing vehicles.
With the imminent deployment of ERA‑GLONASS and eCall, development of in‑vehicle communication terminals is in full swing. The correct choice of components has a large effect on time‑to‑market. Important factors to consider are the suppliers’ know‑how and their ability to support design‑in requirements of GPS/GLONASS and GSM/UMTS subsystems, comprehensive software support, certification of the wireless modem, forward compatibility with future technologies, as well as the ability to deliver high‑quality automotive‑grade components in large volumes.

At u‑blox, we provide cellular and GPS/GLONASS receiver components for both eCall and ERA‑GLONASS that meet these criteria. Contact us for more details about our solutions and about the eCall and ERA‑GLONASS test environment.

Additional reading: 
Whitepaper: "European eCall will deploy in 2015" (English PDF)
2‑page flyer: eCall / ERA‑GLONASS: u‑blox's emergency response solutions
Application Note: eCall / ERA GLONASS implementation in u‑blox wireless modules
Whitepaper: u‑blox’s comprehensive approach to multi‑GNSS positioning