It's activated automatically by in-vehicle sensors

A new emergency call system is to be fitted on all new car models manufactured from March 31st.

eCall will see a call made to emergency services in the event of an accident anywhere in the European Union.

It's activated automatically as soon as in-vehicle sensors or processors detect a serious crash, such as an airbag being deployed.

How eCall works | Image:

Once set off, the system dials 112 and sends details of the accident to the rescue services.

This includes the time of incident, the position of the crashed vehicle and the direction it's travelling in.

It can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car - for example, by a witness to a serious accident.

The European Commission says eCall could speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside.