March 17, 2015 / 2:28 PM / 3 years ago

All new EU cars will need emergency call technology from 2018

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - All new cars sold in the European Union from March 2018 will have to be equipped with technology to contact emergency services in the case of an accident.

The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted 26-3 on Tuesday in favor of draft EU rules to mandate eCall technology, which would call the EU-wide 112 emergency number automatically if a car crashed.

The vote confirmed a deal approved by the EU’s 28 member states earlier in March setting out obligations for car manufacturers. The rules are likely to become law after a vote by the full European Parliament in April.

Separate rules entered into force in June 2014, requiring EU members to ensure they have the infrastructure required to handle eCalls by October 2017.

Some car manufacturers already have comparable systems in place, such as General Motors’ OnStar service in the United States and Canada which can summon emergency services after an incident.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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