Stuttgart - From June 2012 Mercedes-Benz will be launching the eCall vehicle emergency call system - some three years ahead of the scheduled compulsory introduction by the European Commission. The system automatically notifies the emergency services in the event of a serious accident and within just a few minutes provides them with information on the precise location of the accident as well as the vehicle model. The Mercedes-Benz emergency call system is available as standard with the latest version of the COMAND Online multimedia system, which will be introduced from the middle of 2012 in the B-Class, C-Class, E-Class, M-Class and the SLK, CLS, and SL. It will also be available in the new A-Class when it is launched onto the market. All new Mercedes models launched after 1 June 2012 will come with the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system in combination with COMAND Online. Apart from any possible mobile phone charges, the system will not incur any costs for Mercedes customers.
Following a serious accident, every second counts. The new Mercedes-Benz emergency call system utilises this crucial phase and can notify the emergency services automatically in the event of a serious crash. If the airbags or belt tensioners are deployed and COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the vehicle's exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) will be sent by SMS to the Bosch Communication Center's emergency call and service arm, with positional data also being transmitted using the DTMF method (dual-tone multi-frequency) at the same time. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a business trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the Communication Center will be notified quickly, receiving accurate information.
Furthermore, the vehicle will establish a voice connection with the Bosch Communication Center within minutes. A highly practical and useful feature in an emergency situation is that communication will take place in the language defined by the driver in COMAND Online, not necessarily the language of the country where the vehicle is currently located. It is also possible to make an emergency call manually because "Mercedes-Benz emergency call" is always the first entry in the phone book. Geographically, eCall will be introduced in several stages: on 1 June 2012 the automatic emergency call system will be introduced in nine European countries – Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. A further 9 countries will be added at the end of 2012.
The Mercedes-Benz emergency call feature is included as standard as part of the latest version of the COMAND Online telematics system, which will be introduced from the middle of 2012 in the B-Class, C-Class, E-Class, M-Class and also the SLK, CLS and SL. The new A-Class too, just like all new Mercedes models launched onto the market from that date, will also feature the Mercedes-Benz emergency call service in combination with COMAND Online.
As part of its eSafety initiative, the European Commission has announced that it wants to make the introduction of eCall compulsory in new vehicles by 2015. According to the EU Commission, immediate eCall notification and information on the coordinates of the accident location could help to reduce the journey times of the emergency services by 50 percent in rural areas and 40 percent in cities. This could result in up to 2500 fewer road accident fatalities each year across the whole of the EU.