Deutsche Telekom (DT) and digital security and machine to machine (M2M) specialist Gemalto have announced that their M2M solution is being embedded by German auto manufacturer BMW as part of the European Commission’s eCall initiative, designed to enable rapid response assistance for people in road accidents.
The firms said that wide scale deployment of their solution began in 2009 and that more than 200,000 BMW cars in use across Europe have already been equipped with it. DT provides international coverage for the service through its network of roaming partners.
Through the eCall initiative, which the EC expects to be fully implemented across the EU by 2014, contact between the vehicle and a call centre is automatically established when the vehicle’s collision sensors are activated. The car’s position is relayed to the call centre, enabling a swift response from emergency and recovery services. The emergency call can also be manually activated, a scenario expected to apply in breakdown rather than collision situations.
In a release highlighting the deployment, Gemalto pointed to the fact that there are 350 million cars in Europe as an indicator of the scale of the opportunity available to operators.
The wider M2M market is expected to grow rapidly as traditional mobile services hit saturation point in many markets. Telematics is expected to be one of the principal drivers of the market as it takes off./