Brussels 13 June, FIGIEFA welcomes the proposal of the European Commission “concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall system”, as the eCall system will sig-nificantly contribute to the reduction of fatalities and the effects of serious injuries on Europe’s roads.
The mandatory building-in of telematics technology, which eCall is based on, into all new type ap-proved cars from 2015 onwards, will bring about significant benefits for consumers in terms of safety and complementary services.
The telematics technology, which will be compulsorily integrated into the car when installing eCall, is capable of a lot more than only the eCall functionality. It can also be used for supplementary ser-vices such as route navigation, hotel bookings, traffic information as well as breakdown assistance, remote diagnostics and predictive services. Currently, only vehicle manufacturers are able to ac-cess the full set of in-vehicle data (when remotely communicating with the vehicle) which
will leave independent operators, if not tackled by legislation at a clear competitive disadvantage.
“Only by providing equal access to the same functionalities and to the same information at the same timescale for independent operators, one can prevent a monopolistic situation and ensure that the benefits of this technology are available to motoring consumers and independent operators” says Hartmut Röhl, FIGIEFA President.
The proposal of the European Commission (EC) recognises the potential of the wider in-vehicle system which eCall is part of, for possible future in-vehicle applications or services. However, al-though calling for free and non-discriminatory access to an interoperable and open-access platform for all independent operators, the EC has not proposed specific measures for how exactly this should be achieved.
It must be ensured that alternative, competitive and validated service options can be offered by in-dependent suppliers, enabling the vehicle owner to connect the telematics system to the service providers of his choice.
FIGIEFA therefore sees the need to provide further details on the implementation of this interoper-able, standardised and open-access platform. FIGIEFA therefore calls upon the European and national legislators to expand the proposal of the European Commission and provide EU regulation which maintains real equal opportunities and a true level playing field for all service providers in the automotive aftermarket.
eCall is an electronic safety function installed in the vehicle that is automatically trigge
red in case of a serious car accident. It sends rescue workers exact information about the location of the car and allows the ambulance to arrive as soon as possible. With this function, the Commission has estimated that up to 2,500 lives will be saved every year across Europe by reducing the severity of injuries due to a prompt intervention.
For further information about the implications of ecall and telematics on the automotive aftermarket, please see our dedicated brochure
FIGIEFA is the European federation of independent automotive aftermarket distributors. It represents the interests of 20 national trade associations of retailers and wholesalers of automotive replace-ment parts and components and their associated repair chains from 19 countries worldwide. www.figiefa.eu
- Dr. Ralf Drachenberg, Senior Policy Manager, Tel. +32 2 761 95 13
- Claire Albano, Policy Officer, Tel. +32 2 761 95 12