Berg Insight published a new comprehensive report on car telematics today, where this is one of the findings.
A new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight has independently verified the socioeconomic profitability of the eCall system, proposed by the European Commission. The eCall system is intended to automatically initiate an emergency call to 112 from the vehicle and transmit satellite positioning data to the operator in case of a road accident. By reducing the reaction time for the emergency services, the system is expected to save thousands of lives annually when fully implemented. Exactly how many lives that would actually be saved is however the subject of a debate between the proponents and sceptics who believe the cost exceeds the benefits. According to the findings of the independent study by Berg Insight, there will be a net socioeconomic benefit for the EU if road fatalities and severe injuries are reduced by 3 percent or more.
“The eCall project is based on the well known Golden Hour Principle of accident medicine, saying that the chance of surviving a severe injury decreases from 26 percent to 5 percent in the first hour”, explained Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight. “Literally, every minute counts when it comes to saving lives, not to mention preventing severe injuries which are a heavy burden on public finances.” Berg Insight estimates eCall could save 1,400–2,800 lives and prevent 8,600–17,100 severe injuries annually in the EU when fully implemented. Long term savings would be in the range of € 5–10 billion, whereas the long term cost is projected as € 4 billion. Ryberg believes that segments of the automotive industry exaggerates the cost of integrating an eCall device in every new vehicle as would be required for the system to work. “Worldwide production of mobile phones now exceeds 1 billion units and in five years a majority of those will have integrated GPS”, he said. “I am convinced that the cost for producing another 15 million units without even displays, digital cameras and music playback capabilities will be marginal once the automotive purchasing departments have done their job.”
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