The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in cooperation with Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police, announced the approval of a number of emergency centres in the UAE to support the eCall system for automatic call in the event of traffic accidents, after the approval of the readiness of the telecom networks in 2015, which makes the UAE the first in the Middle East in implementing this initiative on this scale.
It has been decided that all new vehicles imported to the UAE will be equipped with a smart feature for automatic communication in the event of accidents, as of the beginning of 2019. All vehicles will be equipped with the best technologies that accelerate the rescue and aid of all traffic accidents in the UAE. This initiative is an early implementation of the concepts of smart city, and an enhancement of the smart lifestyle, as one of the strategic goals that TRA is working to achieve in the country, by using the potentials of ICT.
The new system will accelerate the accident response time by providing a sophisticated feature for rapid communication with the emergency teams, which allows automatic and voice information to be received and logged into the system simultaneously rather than printing commands in a conventional manner. This would reduce the level of human error in locating the accident, and achieve the highest level of integration in emergency response.
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, said: ‘The eCall initiative is part of TRA’s mission to improve the quality of services to the people, and enhance community happiness based on the ICT sector. We are working according to a single compass defined by the UAE Vision and the directives of the wise leadership, as the digital knowledge economy is being founded based on the concepts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Smart City, where speed is a crucial factor of both service provision and results achievement in general.’
H.E. Al Mansoori added: ‘In TRA, we strive to achieve leadership in the ICT infrastructure in the UAE, as well as enhance the smart lifestyle of all those living on this land. This requires innovative efforts to come up with solutions that are in line with the requirements of the era and the global developments.’
H.E. Al Mansouri indicated that ICT is the main key for the development of various sectors and services nowadays, clarifying that launching the new initiative contributes significantly to the reduction of traffic accident victims and makes great use of communication technologies for the service of humanity, in addition to enhancing the UAE’s global leadership position among the desirable countries for living.
H.E. Major General Mohammed Khalfan AL Romaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, said: ‘The advanced system provides innovative solutions to enhance the speed of response when traffic accident occur, and is the first system in the Middle East to receive emergency eCalls’. He noted that Abu Dhabi Police response centres are ready to use the new system, which is in line with the futuristic efforts, according to which all vehicles will be provided with the best technologies that accelerate the response time to accidents through an advanced feature for fast communication with emergency teams, allowing the automatic receipt of the accident information.
AL Romaithi explained that the advanced ‘eCall’ system automatically makes voice calls and sends the vehicle data to the Monitoring & Control Centre of the geographical location of the accident. It electronically displays all the necessary data in the Monitoring & Control Centre, with the possibility to talk with the driver of the vehicle (if necessary), and enhances the response speed in accessing its location and conducting the rescue. He added that ‘the already existing technical systems are integrated in providing the best advanced services in coordination with the partners, which would increase the speed of response and effective communication with the claimants, as part of implementing the police’s strategy in making the roads safer and more secure.’
In turn, Brigadier Engineer Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi, Director of General Department of Operations at Dubai Police, praised the active partnership with TRA in providing the highest level of technical and smart services to the public by using latest technologies. He indicated that Dubai Police, under the directives of H.E. Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, General Commander of Dubai Police, is always keen to be proactive in adopting the latest technologies and systems that could contribute to providing the latest services to the public at international standards, and achieve the strategic objective of Dubai Police to make the society happy.
Brigadier Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi also praised international standards of the service that achieve the Dubai Police strategic goal in achieving the society happiness, indicating that the Monitoring & Control Centre at Dubai Police is ready to provide the eCall system service. The system will accurately identify the source of the notification, which would contribute to achieving the strategic goal of the force in response speed of emergency calls, and thus saving lives. The Brigadier Al Suwaidi added that the implementation of this system is part of implementing Dubai Government directives which is based on innovation, creativity, and smart work as development approach, stressing that Dubai Police takes serious care of the lives of people in emergency situations, and is keen to reduce the response time using latest technologies to cope with all systems that enhance emergency response.
The eCall system will automatically connect the vehicle to the emergency authorities. The system senses the magnitude of the accident, and immediately contact the nearest emergency centre, accurately transmitting the geographical location of the incident as well as other relevant data. Regardless of whether the call is made automatically or manually, the eCall provides voice communication between the vehicle and the emergency centre staff, where passengers could answer questions about their condition, and provide the emergency centre with more data to help them provide the appropriate assistance.
The importance of the new system is especially important in the event of traffic accidents where the driver is unable to communicate due to injury, particularly on the high roads, and empty spaces. The system contributes effectively and decisively to saving lives and requesting the needed assistance.