After three years of experience with its emergency call system in seven European countries, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will extend the service to two more EU member states during the first half of 2007.
PSA launched the service in 2003 in partnership with French messaging system Steria and European networks NetSize and Inter Mutuelles Assistance (IMA). It currently covers France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
In 2005, a traffic information service was added, and in January this year the system was certified as complying with official French safety standards.
Austria and Portugal will be added to the network shortly, using IMA and NetSize. NetSize relays all calls to Paris, while IMA has centers in Brussels, Munich and Madrid.
Some 300,000 cars have been sold with the PSA emergency telematics platform, which is based on hardware from Italian supplier Magneti Marelli.
In Peugeot cars the system is called RT3-4, in Citroen NaviDrive. Buyers activate their emergency connection with a SIM card and in the event of an accident. This automatically transmits a signal that details the type of vehicle, its exact GPS location and mobile phone number, enabling the IMA hotline to establish voice contact. More than 4,500 calls for assistance and over 1,000 emergency calls have so far been dealt with by the service.
Incorporating audio, voice function control, GPS navigation and a hands-free mobile phone, the system is a 2,000 option. PSA is working on a basic system that does not require a SIM card with a target price of 150.
Right now a handful of automakers such as PSA offer their own emergency call services in Europe, but the EU doesnt think that will be enough to help halve road fatalities here to 25,000 by 2010. That is why the EU wants a Europewide emergency call system in place before the end of the decade.