All new vehicles sold in the UAE will be fitted with eCall, a new system that automatically alerts nearest police emergency centres in the country in case of road accidents from 2021. An official announcement to this end was released on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

The eCall system aims to cut down on response times to traffic accidents which usually are the difference between lives lost and saved. This move will contribute immeasurably to lowering the number of deaths and acute injuries on the roads.

While eCall will be installed in all new cars sold across the UAE from 2021, existing cars would get the upgrade sometime in the future.

What is eCall system?

The FAZAA initiative revolves around the automated emergency call system (eCall), where cars are equipped with a feature to send distress calls to emergency centres in case of accidents. The car automatically sends necessary information about the accident, such as location, vehicle type, fuel type, and number of occupants.

TRA has developed the FAZAA (eCall) initiative in collaboration with ESMA and police authorities in the UAE to install and prime systems for receiving eCalls.

Abdullah Salman, wireless network separations engineer working at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said, “New models of all vehicles coming to the UAE will be equipped with eCall system as per the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) standards from 2021.” The vehicles will be equipped with IVS (In-Vehicle System) for eCall, which will automatically generate an alert to the nearest police emergency centre whenever an accident happens.

Salman continued, “The system will be configured with certain parameters and developed in combination with different features of the cars, including the air bags and sensors. So in case of accident, it will warn nearest police operation centre in matter of seconds.”

eCall will alert nearest police emergency centres as to the nature and extent of the damage, occupants inside, and crucial details of the vehicles involved.

The eCall system will provide the respondents with exact location of the incident, time, number of passengers and also the status of the car – whether it is turned over or not – said Salman. It will be fitted in all small and heavy vehicles sold across the UAE.

What about existing vehicles?

TRA has been assessing the possibility of implementing the system in vehicles currently on the roads of UAE. Cars, in general, will be equipped from 2021. Authorities like ESMA and carmakers are working together in this regard. TRA had previously conducted all necessary tests on the operators’ networks (Etisalat and DU) to ensure networks were ready and able to activate and optimally operate the eCall system.