Ecall: hickhack for mobile networks and standards

Ecall: Hickhack for mobile networks and standards

Since the spring of 2018, new typed cars and lightweight commercial vehicles have had to install the automatic emergency call system ECALL. In fact, it depends on the word "type in type", because the duty does not extend – how to expect – on all new cars, but only those who come to the market as new models and receive a new type in type. Automemcers bypass the ECALL obligation by defining the type for new models quite legal the type for old vehicle models.

Since the spring of 2018, only 25 new vehicle types have been approved with ECALL – in the year, this is about 13 type approvals and thus even less than in the years before. The General German Automobile Club (ADAC) suspects that manufacturers play on time. For this purpose, the manufacturers have good reason, because the backbau old mobile networks could complicate the contact of the ECALL black boxes to the control centers.

Ecall: The automatic emergency call

An Ecall blackbox in the car takes on after an accident or after an alarm by a SOS button on mobile contact with the emergency number 112, a data set (minimum set of data, MSD) with location data is transmitted to the rescue control center and offers a jerkiness. The user-free system should ensure the alarm for quick help at the scene of the accident – especially the time-consuming search of rescue services after the accident site should be declared. Auber the statutory ECALL system (public ecall), there are emergency call systems of automotive manufacturers (private ecall), which partly collect more data. They are frequently preceded by the Public Ecall. If both systems are available, the customer can specify which is used.

Ecall: Hickhack for mobile networks and standards

At the public ecall, emergency calls are being performed immediately. When private ECALL filters a telephone headquarters the emergency calls, it supplements you with further data and ranges it to control centers.

Instead of rescue: announcements from the band

Because through the Hickhack the goal of saving more life, in a long distance, the ADAC is planning that all newly authorized vehicles ECALL have to have all the newly authorized vehicles without exception.

The ADAC also acknowledges weak the private ECALL. While an emergency call arrives at the Public Ecall directly at the 112, private ECALL is always a call center of the automaker or its service provider first point of view. The suspicion of the automotive club: "The manufacturers want to know almost monopoly as the first over unfalle to make business, for example with towing services, repairs, replacement cars or new cars."

Another problem: Due to the prevention of a call center, it comes to time losses in emergency calls. The private argues that they filter out mistakes of triggered emergency calls and relieve rescue control centers. The ADAC calls for customers to be better explained when buying the differences between the two emergency call systems. Based on the emergency statistics of the Federal Standers, no trend can be reading, which provides arguments for or against private-ECALL services.

The ADAC, for example, determined that, during its crash tests, private-eCall emergency calls were partially answered only 58 seconds after the trimming of the airbags. At tests abroad, they even have the announcement that the call center will take you at 20 o’clock. Here and then the Prufter also conflicts intelligence problems and misconducted, organically passed locations. In addition, an electronic transmission of vehicle data partly did not take part or incomplete instead.

The automotive association concludes: "The 112-ECALL should be the default. At the manufacturer’s robust, it must not come to delays in the message to the rescue control center to ensure quick help."

An immediate forwarding to the 112 can not provide private services, because a so-called page dialing protection prevents emergency calls that are not drawn on the location of the accident, because otherwise the locations identified the rescuers could also pilot the wrong place.

Shutdown old mobile networks danger Ecall

Another circumstance also provides automakers ammunition for their backup. The mobile networks are currently switched from 2G / 3G to 4G / 5G. Modems, which only sparks with 2G and 3G technology, is therefore missing the network connection in the foreseeable future. Ecall boxes are outrageable. Niels Peter Skov Andersen, General Manager of the Car-2 Car Communication Consortium, speaks for European automakers, suppliers and researchers. He says, "The gross problem is that the life and innovation cyzets of the automotive industry and the mobile industry do not match."

Whether and how long the old frequency ranges for 2G and 3G still protect for ECALL is questionable. In Germany, the 2G network is probably used for even indeterminate time as a jerking network for all customers who use 3G at the moment. Andersen expects the state to support the operators in Germany to maintain the 2G network because important control systems for electricity and water hung. However, there are not yet available.

Ecall runs over 3G in some countries. In Germany, a move to 3G no option. The frequencies used for 2G and 3G are much more attractive for the fast expansion of new networks for mobile operators. Therefore, Vodafone wants to switch off the 3G network in Germany until mid-2021 and use the previously used frequency spectrum for the 4G data radio. Telekom wants to do that by the end of 2021, Telefonica a year later.

The Association of the Automotive Industry VDA demands from network operators to maintain the 2G / 3G network binding by 2035 so that ECALL continues to work – so long until a successor service can be in LTE and 5G.

Federal Government profound

The Federal Government Web no solution. It puts on the spread of the ECALL systems "gradually" will rise. Originally objective was to reduce the number of traffic totes by ECALL by 10 percent. In 2018, however, the value was only 0.7 percent below the previous year. For 2019, the total balance should also be more than 4 percent better – the official numbers are still out.

The German legislator does not plan to adapt the ECALL regulation as of network connection. In the background, the EU Commission works on a standard for a Next Generation (NG) ECALL system. If it is applicable, the so-called NG ECALL is recorded in the European regulations for the type in type – first as an option, later as a lifeful method. Dafur is also the ADAC. He calls: "The Commission must oblige the Member States to align their emergency calls at short notice with suitable terminals for NG Ecall."For at least 15 years, a hybrid operation with both ECALL systems will be ensured.

This turns the lobby association Car-2-Car Communication Consortium too far. It requires a ruck wait compatibility of all systems working with 4G and 5G. The European Standardization AgodyD ETSI has also set itself on such an obligation. Niels Andersen from the Car-2-Car Communication Consortium is aware that this is difficult to implement: "The network structures of 2G and 3G are completely different from 4G and 5G. You encourage a Many-to-Many communication, which Ecall boxes must then also be bidirectional for 2G."

But with that the list of problems has not been paid yet: mobile technology at ECALL is partially proprietar. This also plays a role in the current patent constraints between Nokia and Daimler. In this, Nokia from Daimler demonstrates unusually high sums of use of patent right mobile techniques. The verdict is still out.

And now?

The mixed position is inaccessible. The backup of the automakers is lacking in the face of the fact that ECALL cars will make cars more expensive, but the system could not be as practicable by jerking the mobile networks as well as hoped for. If the policy does not want to lose sight of the goal of saving more lives through faster alerting of rescue penalty, it must now decide: If she windows the existing ECALL standard or hopes for a quick transition to 4G / 5G techniques? The ball lies with the EU Commission.

This article is from C’t 18/2020.

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