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Should automatic emergency alert devices be mandatory in Australia? Advanced motor technology suppliers certainly think so.

Intelligent Transport Systems Australia and RACV’s Intelematics have renewed its calls to make the use of such devices a standard feature in all new cars. The proponents are encouraging Australian policy makers and industry leaders to start the conversation about making in-vehicle emergency notification systems mandatory.

This involves using technology that combines in-car sensors, geo-locators, in-vehicle emergency call (eCall), and smartphones to connect to emergency services and to inform first responders of the location of severe collisions.

Since 2018, eCall has been mandated for all passenger and light vehicles in the United Kingdom and the European Union. This instant calling function emergency service operators to decide immediately on the type and size of rescue operation needed, helping them to arrive on the scene faster. It can save lives, reduce the severity of injuries, and cut the cost of traffic jams.

In response, manufacturers including BMW, Nissan, Volvo, and Peugeot Citroen have been producing cars fitted with emergency alert technology not just for the UK and EU markets but also for America.

In Australia, this technology is available already in some car models from manufacturers including Toyota, Ford, Lexus, and Audi. This, however, is not compulsory unlike these safety features currently prioritised by the Australian Design Rules:

  • lane keep assist for light vehicles
  • lane departure warning for heavy vehicles
  • fatigue and distraction monitoring/detection systems
  • blind spot information systems for heavy vehicles
  • safe deployment of automated vehicles

If made mandatory, the advocates believe that the use of this technology can help make Australian roads safer. It can assist in providing critical first responder care to people involved in potentially life-threatening situations.

It can also potentially aid in reducing the number of road fatalities. This is especially true if it is used in conjunction with other vehicle safety features.

Interested to know how vehicle safety features work to save lives? Check out AfMA’s Drive Safer Resources here.