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European Parliament vote on eCall update

On February 26, 2014  the European Parliament plenary voted through its amendments to the eCall Regulation.

After much debate on competence between the lead committee IMCO and the LIBE committee, MEPs adopted the final report with 485 votes in favour.

Over the last year, the ABI has been lobbying hard on this draft Regulation, to ensure that the mandatory introduction of eCall technology will also benefit consumers through complementary services, such as telematics motor insurance, made available by connected vehicles.

To maximise this consumer benefit from eCall, the ABI lobbied to ensure that the underlying in-vehicle system is based on a standardised, interoperable, secure and open-access platform.

We are pleased to see the recognition of the possibility to include additional services (Recital 7(c) and that ‘the 112-based eCall in-vehicle system should be based on an interoperable, open-access, secured and standardised platform for possible future in-vehicle applications or services’ (Recital 9).

While it is still unclear the extent to which the requirements for this interoperable platform will be included in the imminent level two technical requirements on the development of eCall (Article 5 paragraph 7.1), the European Commission is mandated to report, as soon as possible and in any event within a year, ‘following a broad consultation with all stakeholders, including vehicle manufacturers and independent operators, and an impact assessment, on the technical requirements for an interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.

The Commission shall accompany that report, if appropriate, with a legislative proposal to that effect. The 112-based eCall in-vehicle system shall be based on the standards for that platform as soon as they become available.’ (Article 10a paragraph 3)  

The other area that saw much debate and that posed real concerns about the possibility of access to third party services was data protection. A significant number of MEPs tried to ensure that neither the eCall box nor the underlying platform could capture information about the data subject, not even when consent was given by the data subject. 

The ABI argued that consumers should be able to consent to access third party services, and, when this is the case, it should be noted that contractual obligations must be respected. We advocated that any optional services that the individual has consented to should be subject to existing data protection legislation, and not subject to more onerous provisions included in this draft Regulation.

We are pleased to see that the Parliament’s report confines most of the requirements in Article 6 to the 112 eCall service and that additional services would be subject to existing data protection legislation, namely Directive 95/46/EC (Article 6, paragraph 3 i).

This concludes the debates in the Parliament and attention will now focus on the Council of Ministers, where discussions have only started. The ABI will continue to lobby in Council trying to persuade them to bring forward the requirement for the technical requirements for an interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.

It is expected that trilogues will begin in late autumn 2014.

Last updated 01/07/2016