EC’s ecall will pay for itself

Independent research by Berg Insight verifies the socioeconomic profitability of eCall Gothenburg, Sweden 15 January 2007: A new research report from analyst Berg Insight has independently verified the socioeconomic profitability of the eCall system proposed by the European Commission.


When a vehicle is involved in an accident, eCall is intended to automatically initiate an emergency 112 call and transmit satellite positioning data to the operator. This should speed up the reaction time for the emergency services and so is expected to save thousands of lives annually.

 “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% to 5% in the first hour”, noted Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at Berg.

There has however been some debate on the true benefits of eCall – exactly how many lives would actually be saved, and does the cost exceed the benefits.

Now Berg Insight has concluded that there will be a net socioeconomic benefit for the EU if road fatalities and severe injuries are reduced by 3% or more. 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, 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 1bn units and in five years a majority of those will have integrated GPS”, said Ryberg. “I am convinced that the cost for producing another 15m 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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