Mr Zoltán Schváb, deputy state secretary for transport signed on behalf of Hungary the Memorandum of Understanding for Realisation of Interoperable In-Vehicle emergency call (eCall) system on 6 June 2011 in Lyon. Member states, vehicle manufacturers, telecommunication operators, insurance companies, and other stakeholders, which agreed on the common objectives, can join this cooperation since 2004. The ceremonial signing took place at the ITS in Europe conference held in Lyon.

The deputy state secretary has confirmed that the leadership of the ministry in charge is committed to the continuation of the comprehensive work started in the field of intelligent transport systems. The ministry supports all international initiatives which can effectively contribute to the introduction of high quality, safe and intelligent transport systems and services and which meet the needs of the Hungarian drivers as well..

The in-vehicles eCall system allows emergency calls generated either manually by passengers or automatically via activation of the in-vehicle sensors. The system establishes voice connection directly with the emergency service. At the same time, a minimum set of required data (e.g. time, location, vehicle ID, etc.) will be sent to the operator receiving the call.

A comprehensive impact assessment prepared by the European Commission with participation of Hungarian experts has also evaluated the expected impacts of the introduction of eCall in Hungary as well. Based on detailed analyses, fatalities on Hungarian roads could be reduced approximately by 2-2.5%, i.e. 20-25 lives could be saved each year. Rescue time also could be shortened by 10-15 minutes. eCall may be linked to the services of 112, the common European emergency call service. Mr Zoltán Schváb reminded that one of the main priorities of the common EU transport policy is to move close to zero fatalities in road transport by 2050. The 4th European Road Safety Action Plan and the Hungarian Public Road Safety Action Programme have the common aim of reducing road fatalities by 50% by 2020. As part of the action plan of the past three years, the Life on Road programme has been launched with the aim of synchronising the activities in the field of awareness raising, driver training and attitudes changing of Hungarian organisations working for improving the safety of road transport.

In recent years the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) has developed significantly in the member states of the European Union. These systems can contribute to the improvement of traffic management, transport efficiency and road safety and ITS applications have a role to play in the greening of transport as well.

(Ministry of National Development, Department of Communication)