eCall project wins TRIG award for its innovative proven idea

VESOS Solutions Limited has been recognised for the value of their solution giving emergency services and road operators essential data about road crashes in real time by using data delivered using eCall data.

VESOS, a technology start up, has been given the Department for Transport’s Chief Scientific Adviser’s Award for the ‘most innovative proven idea’ for the Transport Research and Innovation Grants 2022 programme, delivered by Connected Places Catapult on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT).

Its TeCall Proof of Concept showed it can deliver faster response and detailed information using the data collated from eCall-enabled vehicles, which includes every new car and van sold in the UK since 2018. In the event of a collision with an airbag activation, the solution almost instantly provides emergency services and highway operators with enhanced information detailing a vehicle’s exact location, the vehicle make and model and propulsion type. This also includes other data such as wheelchair adapted vehicles, indicating potentially vulnerable people, that enables them to respond more effectively and better prepared.

Furthermore, what impressed the judges was that TeCall ensures only genuine and validated eCall data is presented to emergency services and road operators with false alarms filtered out and data then presented automatically into emergency Control Centre systems.

VESOS Solutions co-founder Danny Woolard commented: “The VESOS team is delighted to have been recognised by the DfT and been awarded the CSA’s most innovative project. Because of the TRIG funding we have been able to turn our ideas into a real working end to end proof of concept, backed up by a strong benefit driven business case. We have shown the clear response time savings that using eCall data can bring to meeting the aims of Vision Zero. We are especially grateful to the partners that supported us in the project.”

The VESOS team built a proof of concept, undertaking research with Warwickshire and Surrey Fire and Rescue Services. This showed the time savings of using data from eCall instead of just the current voice connection. It also demonstrated, in principle, new cases such as identifying wheelchair adapted vehicles, electric vehicles needing recovery and providing vehicle data into fire response vehicles before they leave the fire station.

Independent road safety campaigner, Meera Naran MBE, whose 8-year-old son Dev, died in a motorway collision on the M6 in 2018, said: “Early in my campaign I proposed exploring the capabilities of eCall and its vital position in the post-crash element of the safe system. VESOS have been working extremely hard in this space bringing to life an innovative evidence-based technological solution that could save so many lives. My heartfelt congratulations and thanks goes to the team for continuing with their work to make this a reality and our roads safer.”

Steve Gooding from the RAC Foundation said: “The rationale for eCall is to put the emergency services in a position to respond swiftly when things go wrong. This project reveals how the system could be used to much better effect, cutting response times while automatically and accurately providing key information such as the location of the vehicle, not only for the 999 services but also to highway managers, including National Highways. The imperative now must be to accelerate the adoption of this approach from innovation-award-winner to becoming standard practice.”

Cllr Andy Crump, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Fire and Rescue and Community Safety, Said: “We were very glad to be part of this project and learn more about eCall and how it could benefit Warwickshire. As the Road Safety Partnership has adopted safe system working, a project like this with its post-collision element help us to improve emergency response times and give better emergency care. This work all contributes to our target of 50% reduction of killed or serious injuries casualties by 2030.”

VESOS is co-owned by road safety expert and former police inspector Andy Rooke, Telematics traffic business consultant Danny Woolard, connected vehicle expert Andy Graham and traffic operations design expert Alan Gentle.

(Picture courtesy of Mark Roy Speight and VESOS, L-R Andy Rooke, Alan Gentle, Andy Graham, and DfT Chief Scientific Adviser Sarah Sharples)


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