Subaru is known for its safety features. It has earned top scores virtually from every possible safety tests globally. One of the less discussed safety features is known as eCall. Although the feature is not developed by Subaru and eCall system is actually mandatory in Europe (since 2018). However it can be really a lifesaver.
What is eCall
It is a standard that automotive industry has agreed to be included in all modern vehicles. ECall functions in all European countries and if a vehicle equipped with the system ends up in a crash and driver is not able to alert health center by itself, system will do it for you. It really can be a lifesaver in certain situations.
How does eCall work
System includes so called embedded sim (eSim), so it works without a physical SIM card. It is also worth of noting that, this has nothing to do with your private SIM card. If car crashes, system will automatically establish connection to 112, common emergency number. It will send GPS coordinates and also some other data such as airbag status info.
eCall is also possible to connect to emergency number manually by pressing the button. So you can actually talk to the emergency center, if needed. Not only when you might have an accident but also when you witness accident.
eCall architecture is quite simple. Once either collision censor, air bag or SOS button is set off it dials to the 112 over public cellular network. Both data and voice connection is used. It transmits location, vehicle and passenger information to the emergency center directly to their displays. It has been estimated system can speed up emergency response by 40-50%
eCall Privacy issues
On the era of the GDPR, Europeans are of course suspicious of all privacy related data. There has been some speculations that could it be possible to eavesdrop the system and listen passengers via the microphone. In theory everything, where is technology, is possible. However if somebody really need to spy your conversations, there might be easier ways to do it. E.g. trick you to give user ids and passwords for your email account. So in my opinion, this scenario is very unlikely, that eCall has any privacy concerns.
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