Automated emergency response systems

eCall and ERA-GLONASS are a European, respectively Russian initiative to combine mobile communications and satellite positioning to provide rapid assistance to motorists in the event of a collision. 

The systems, the first based on GPS the latter on GLONASS, monitor in-vehicle sensors for such events as airbag deployment to automatically transmit location details and summon assistance via emergency cellular service. The motivation for both systems is the reduction of the consequences of 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 whether rescue services should be dispatched to the known position.

The core functionality of both systems is an embedded computer that continuously monitors crash sensors and satellite positioning receiver in order to initiate an automated data and full duplex voice call via a dedicated wireless modem (e.g. GSM, UMTS) in case of an emergency condition. In-band modem capability, 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 firstmount unit in new cars, or installed in pre-existing vehicles (after market devices).

With the imminent deployment of ERA-GLONASS and eCall, development of in-vehicle terminals is in full swing. The correct choice of components has a large affect on time-to-market. Important factors to consider are the supplier’s know-how and 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 high-volume. u-blox provides wireless and GPS/GLONASS receiver components for both eCall and ERA-GLONASS that meet these criteria. For more details about u-blox’ solutions and test enviroment for eCall and ERA-GLONASS, contact u-blox.

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