The fifth eCall TESTFEST event, organised by ERTICO – ITS Europe and ETSI, supported by I_HeERO and hosted by the Satellite Applications Catapult, took place in Harwell, in Oxfordshire, UK, from 28 November to 2 December 2016. With EU Member States upgrading their PSAP infrastructure by 1 October 2017, New In-Vehicle System (IVS) and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) vendors carried out thousands of tests. Participants tested the compliancy, interoperability and essential performance of their eCall implementations, and discussed existing vendor solutions for the eCall chain.
Coordinated by the I_HeERO project, all EU Member States’ PSAP infrastructure must be ready for deployment of eCall based on 112. Attended by the technical consultant responsible for the set-up of the eCall PSAP solution in France, the fifth TESTFEST event took place close to the deadline of 1 October 2017 for EU Member States PSAP readiness.
During the five days of the event, hundreds of pairing sessions were organised. Each session, lasting two hours, allowed one IVS unit to test with one PSAP unit or against a rich choice of dedicated test benches. This set-up, combined with the collaboration between parties, allowed engineers to evaluate the compliancy and interoperability of their implementation, and, as applicable, fine-tune their software. After each day of testing, a briefing enabled all participants to share their feedback and discuss the eCall standards with the supporting experts.
Considering the obvious and natural imbalance between IVS and PSAP systems vendors, the event was made possible thanks to the special commitment from PSAP suppliers and operators. Solutions, for compliancy and performance testing, were also available for the IVS units, providing a complete range of complianc and performance tests.
Test results were reported by vendors using the ETSI test reporting tool, allowing assessing the level of interoperability either by test categories or across all vendors.
Underlining the importance of the TESTFEST in the preparation of the PSAP infrastructure in the Member States before the said deadline, participants agreed to organise the 2017 TESTFEST in France to allow testing of the eCall PSAP set-up. Mobile networks will be included in the 2017 TESTFEST program.
eCall Workshop organised in conjunction with the space industry
The eCall services will be optimised thanks to the space industry’s terrestrial and satellite communications who aim to provide connectivity everywhere. Up to date Earth observation imagery will aid dispatch decisions by providing info on the location of eCall.
The eCall Workshop, held at the same premises on 30 November 2016, focused on Pan-European eCall service and the private variants of eCall, i.e. the Third Party service eCall. Representatives from the safety and transport sectors, as well as students, were explained the principals of eCall from the technological and deployment point of view. eCall and testing experts presented how interoperability is handled, as well as the role of the TESTFEST event. Finally, the evolutions of eCall in the future were presented, including satellite technology empowering eCall and state of readiness of 2017 eCall deployment.
The workshop was concluded with a visit to the eCall TESTFEST and a demonstration of eCall over satellite.
The workshop was organised in correlation with the space industries, who are interested in developing intelligent hybrid communication platforms including both terrestrial and satellite communications and robust position navigation and timing solutions to provide connectivity everywhere. These activities are applicable to a wide range of applications in the ITS domain and in the first deployments include safety applications such as eCall, where the ability to communicate reliably everywhere is critical to the delivery of the service.
The I_HeERO project currently preparing the upgrade of the Member States’ PSAP infrastructure is also looking at the advancements in the management of data. This to include increasingly the situational awareness of call takers and dispatchers in the PSAP through the provision of more up to date Earth observation imagery, and to aid dispatch decisions by providing information on the location of the ecall. The I_HeERO project will also study the next generation 112 to include the provision of a range of satellite technologies where appropriate.
Notes to editors
About ERTICO – ITS Europe:
ERTICO – ITS Europe is a multi-sector, public/private partnership pursuing the development and deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS). We connect public authorities, industry players, infrastructure operators, users, national ITS associations and other organisations together and work to bring ‘Intelligence into Mobility’.
The ERTICO work programme focuses on initiatives to improve transport safety, security and network efficiency whilst taking into account measures to reduce environmental impact. Our vision is of a future transport system working towards zero accidents, zero delays and fully informed people, where services are affordable and seamless, the environment is protected, privacy is respected and security is provided.
For more information, visit the websites:ÿwww.ertico.com.
ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is a not-for-profit organization with more than 800 member organizations, drawn from 66 countries across 5 continents, which determine its work programme and participate directly in its work.
For more information please visit: www.etsi.org.
ETSI Plugtests is a professional unit of ETSI specialising in running interoperability test events for a wide range of telecommunications, Internet, broadcasting and multimedia converging standards. For more information, please visit: www.etsi.org/plugtests
eCall is an electronic road safety system which automatically calls the emergency services in case of a serious accident, even if the driver and passengers are unconscious. As soon as the eCall sensors register a severe impact on the car during an accident, it automatically dials 112 emergency and calls to the nearest emergency centre. The call transmits the exact geographic location of the accident scene and other data. eCalls can also be made manually by car occupants, thus enabling them to provide the call centre with additional details of the accident. After 31 March 2018, all cars and light trucks in the 28 EU Member States will be mandated to be fitted with eCall based on 112.
Getting immediate information about an accident and pinpointing the exact location of the crash site cut emergency services’ response time by 50% in rural and 40% in urban areas. Thanks to this gain in time, eCall is expected to save several hundred lives in the European Union each year, and to mitigate the severity of tens of thousands of injuries. Road accidents cost the EU around £160 billion and the mandatory deployment of eCall in Europe after 31 March 2018 is expected to save up to 20 billion annually. eCall will work all over the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The Russian Federation is developing a similar accident notification system called ERA GLONASS. It is based on the eCall standards. Both sides, the EU and Russia, are working together in order to make eCall and ERA GLONASS interoperable so that eCall will also work in Russia and ERA GLONASS in the EU.
I_HeERO (‘I’ for ‘Infrastructure’) is aimed at preparation of the PSAP in Member States for the deployment of eCall based on 112 as reference implementations. It addresses explicitly the PSAP element of the eCall roll-out and will enable the PSAP to install hardware and software solutions that fits the necessary requirements within each Member State.
Project Leader: German State of Lower Saxony, under the authority of the German Ministry of Transport BMVI
Technical Implementation in all aspects: ERTICO – ITS Europe
The project will be operating n 11 Member States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia), and included almost 100 commercial partners and a number of Associated Partners.
For more information, visit http://iheero.eu/