Starting Now, All European Cars Can Call Police After a Crash

eCall, a new auto emergency calling service for vehicles, is now live in Europe.

The technology comprises of devices with an integrated SIM card that automatically rings emergency services in the event of an accident, activated by in-vehicle impact sensors, sending GPS position and phoning into emergency services directly.

Another feature using a rear-view mirror SOS button for manual input, which can be used by witnesses.

According to the European Commission, emergency personnel response time will be cut by up to 50 percent, depending on the area, with road-related fatalities reduced by 10% across all European Union countries.

"For us, eCall means that we are a huge step closer to our Vision Zero - mobility without road deaths or injuries - as help is now automatically on its way in the case of an accident," said Johann Hiebl, head of Continental's Infotainment and Connectivity business unit, maker of the eCall. "By using the telematics unit for other applications like real-time information about traffic flows or potential hazards, accidents can even be actively avoided, and congestion minimized."

Participating vehicles include cars and light vans that are type-approved after April 1st in the European Union, across all automakers. No word if other regions plan to support the technology in the near future.