Connected Helmets and Ecall:
Advancing Road Safety for 2-Wheel Vehicles
Emerging tech in 2-wheel vehicles is showing real promise for improving road safety. At Teletrac Navman Connected Services, we’re excited to be exploring the relatively new connected helmet technology. This blog looks at how they could be one of the most effective ways of reducing serious injuries and deaths for motorcycle riders on the roads.
Safety in 2-Wheel Vehicles
Riding a 2-wheel vehicle comes with higher risks related to balance, exposure, and size. Despite only making up 2% of road users in Europe, motorcyclists accounted for an alarming 15.5% of road deaths in 2018, according to the European Road Safety Observatory report. This striking imbalance amplifies the pressing need for safety measures and eCall systems specifically tailored to 2-wheel vehicles.
According to a Swedish study into survivability in fatal road traffic accidents, 52% of those that died sustained survivable injuries. 5% of those were not located in time to prevent death, 12% could have survived had they been transported more quickly to a hospital and 32% could have survived if they had been transported more quickly to an advanced trauma centre. A separate study estimated that eCall allows for a reduction of crash response times of around 50% in rural areas and up to 40% in urban areas.
Now, eCall itself is relatively easy to implement – it can call into a dedicated eCall triage centre, or in some markets can be routed directly to the emergency services. eCall offers in-built communication, GPS and collision detection, including speed at time of accident, direction of travel, and in some cases even the occupancy of the vehicle.
In the EU it is mandatory on all cars manufactured from 2018, but it is not mandatory on motorcycles; the group of road users that suffers 8 times more fatalities in proportion to their presence on the road. Why is this?
Imagine a lone car driver, navigating a remote country road late at night. Suddenly, the car collides with a tree. Airbags deploy, and instantly, the car’s eCall system kicks in, initiating a call to the emergency services or an eCall triage centre. Though the driver is unconscious, the car’s precise location is sent automatically, allowing emergency services to be despatched quickly to the scene.
Now, envision the same scenario with a motorcycle. A solitary rider is cruising down the same remote road and similarly collides with a tree. Due to the law of motion, the rider is thrown 20 or 30 feet into a nearby field. Unlike the car, this new motorcycle isn’t equipped with an eCall system. Since the area is remote and the time is late, there are no passers-by to notice the accident or call for help. The rider, assuming their injuries aren’t immediately fatal, becomes part of the grim statistic: 52% of fatalities that could have been prevented with faster intervention.
The situation changes dramatically if this motorcycle had been equipped with eCall and even more so with an integrated accessory like a connected helmet. In this scenario, emergency services would be alerted automatically not just to the location of the bike but to the exact location of the downed rider. This direct and immediate response could very well mean the difference between life and death.
Incorporating eCall systems and connected helmets could bring down motorcyclist fatalities from 15.5% of all road deaths to a figure closer to 7%. While this is still disproportionate to the 2% of road users who are motorcyclists, it’s a significant step forward in road safety.
At Teletrac Navman Connected Services, we’re pioneering enhanced safety on the road through these emerging technologies. Our aim is for all motorists to have access to the technological advantage of enhanced Emergency call and we want to work with industry leaders and emerging manufacturers alike to make this a reality.
Our suite of connected service capability expands beyond eCall. Breakdown call, Stolen vehicle Tracking, Remote services all have a significant role to play in the future of motor vehicles.
Speak to us today to find out how your brand and your customers can benefit from integrated connected services from Teletrac Navman Connected Services.