Hi-tech cars will automatically call 999

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Airbags will set off the sensors.

A NEW wave of ‘smart’ cars will automatically call the emergency services when they are involved in a crash. It will be compulsory for every new car sold in Europe to have the technology installed by the year 2018.

The eCall system, which transmits critical information about vehicles to a local control centre in the event of a crash, is expected to save hundreds of lives a year. 

The data is sent once sensors in the vehicle are triggered by obvious signs of a crash such as rapid deceleration or the deployment of airbags. Cars will also be fitted with a dashboard button which can be used to send the information manually.

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Some experts have hinted that the new technology could cause problems, as most emergency service control rooms won’t be equipped to deal with the expected volume of information once new cars are fitted with the system.

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