New VESOS research for Transport Infrastructure Ireland confirms potential live-saving minutes could be saved by eCall

The specialist eCall consultancy and software company VESOS Solutions Ltd has completed research to evaluate the possible use of eCall data to generate incidents on the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) road and motorway network, showing the technology can speed up response times after crashes.

Four years of anonymised data collected by the country’s ECAS (Emergency Call Answering Service) was analysed using tools developed by VESOS. The analysis covered events on TII roads, false alarms and correlated data with TII’s other incident data sources.  

One of the findings of the report was a possible five minute time saving in raising an alert to the operational teams, which would allow them to respond to incidents much faster. In addition, detection of eCall airbag alerts were detected on rural parts of TII’s network that currently has no other infrastructure-based detection.

eCall automatically raises the alarm in the event of a crash when the airbags are deployed, and it can also be manually activated by the driver or passenger by pressing the eCall SOS button. It has been installed in all newly approved cars and vans across the UK and Europe since 2018.

VESOS Solutions undertook the research for TII, via Arup, to work out the effectiveness of the solution. eCall not only makes a voice call, but also automatically supplies the vehicle location, Vehicle Identification Number, number of people on board and fuel type – vital data for both emergency services and highway operators.

The study involved working closely with ECAS, Ireland’s emergency call answering service, which provided anonymised data for every eCall activation since 2019.  VESOS also identified how there are certain “hotspots” for false alarms from the eCall system, notably around car hire locations and car dealerships.  It concluded these calls are probably made when people are trying the SOS button in a vehicle they are collecting, and suggests more driver education around eCall is required, although the VESOS solution can identify them as they are made.

TII’s Senior Engineer and ITS lead David Laoide-Kemp commented: “The outcome of this initial research has demonstrated the real potential value of eCall as a ‘Connected-Vehicle’ technology and how it could benefit TII’s road operations, enabling us to become aware of incidents faster and also have visibility on parts of our network where we have no other detection infrastructure deployed.”

“The project for TII further validates previous studies and the development of our TeCall proof of concept and shows real value in terms of both time saving and detection on non-instrumented networks,” added VESOS Director Danny Woolard, “It has been a real collaborative effort with support from TII’s management and operational staff, supported by their consultant partner Arup and BT Ireland’s ECAS team, Woolard further remarked.

VESOS Solutions was founded by transport consultants Andy Graham, Andy Rooke, Danny Woolard and Alan Gentle.  It is the first dedicated company for analysing and processing eCall data to create validated incident alerts, while also providing consultancy services on implementation and business cases for eCall, along with strategic advice and data analysis.

(Picture – VESOS/TII)


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