"eCall": new horizons in emergency rescue BMW Group Forschung und Technik and Bavarian Red Cross develop end-to-end emergency call scenario

(PresseBox) (München, ) At a demonstration in Straubing, BMW Group Forschung und Technik and the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) today presented a prototype of an "eCall" emergency rescue system featuring continuous data transmission. Following an accident, a call - generated either automatically or by one of the vehicle's occupants pressing a button - transmits precise details of the vehicle's location to an emergency rescue centre. The emergency rescue centre communicates with the vehicle if possible, then alerts a paramedic, ambulance team or helicopter. The eCall prototype jointly developed with the BRK then automatically provides directions to the scene of the accident, relaying this information wirelessly to the navigation system in the rescuers' vehicle. The continuous transmission of precise GPS data enables seriously injured accident victims to be located quickly and efficiently, allowing the rescuers to gain valuable seconds. The automated directions likewise speed up response times.

"With this research project, the two partners are presenting an emergency rescue solution which could offer a way of saving even more lives in the future," says Alfred Reisinger, District Council Chairman and president of the local inter-municipal rescue and fire response service. Project Manager Dr Hans-Jörg Vögel of BMW Group Forschung und Technik explains: "As vehicle manufacturers, we are involved in researching and developing active and passive safety systems. Since emergency call technology is such an important part of this, we decided to join forces with the emergency rescue centre in Straubing to develop this prototype."

Practical implementation of this solution follows on from the Global System for Telematics (GST) research project co-funded by the EU, in which 49 partners spent 36 months establishing the specifications for an open telematics architecture. The aim of the project, which was completed in early 2007 and included automatic emergency call technology (eCall) as one of its subprojects, was to promote improved inter-vehicle networking. The partners are currently looking ahead to the next stage in the project, involving Europe-wide field trials.

BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG and has since 2003 been responsible for the following research topics within the BMW Group: VehicleTechnology, CleanEnergy (hydrogen technology), EfficientDynamics (intelligent energy management/alternative drives), ConnectedDrive (driver assistance systems/active safety) and ITDrive (IT and communication technology). Its status as an independent limited company ensures greater scope for creativity and maximum flexibility. Access to global trends and technologies is provided by an international network comprising centres in the USA (Palo Alto, CA and Clemson, SC) and Japan (Tokyo) along with the liaison offices Eurécom (Sophia Antipolis) in France and DFKI GmbH (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence) in Saarbrücken, Germany.

The Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) is a corporation under public law with 17,000 full-time staff, 100,000 volunteers and around one million sponsoring members. The BRK is Bavaria's largest humanitarian organisation and third-largest charity. It is the largest of the Länder organisations of the German Red Cross and has an annual balance sheet total of almost one billion euros. The Bavarian Red Cross is a three-tier organisation comprising the Bavarian headquarters in Munich, five regional organisations (Upper Bavaria, Upper/Middle Franconia, Lower Bavaria/Upper Palatinate, Swabia and Lower Franconia) and 73 district organisations. It is represented in every district and independent city in Bavaria.


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