Volvo On Call – the first SOS system with pan-European coverage
- Integrated system for enhanced safety and security
- Standard package for increased safety – can be complemented with security package
- Volvo first out with a factory-fitted system for tracking a stolen car
- Volvo On Call customer service can monitor the car’s position and status
Volvo Cars will launch a pan-European SOS system as early as spring 2006. All new Volvo cars can by then, as an option, be equipped with Volvo On Call, which makes it possible to contact an emergency service centre and state the car’s precise position in the event of an accident. It is a more comprehensive system than eCall, which is proposed by the EU for introduction in 2009-2010. Volvo On Call will be sold in seven European countries from spring 2006, although the service will be supported in fourteen countries.
- Volvo On Call is an integrated system for enhanced safety and security in the car. With a combination of wireless telecommunications and modern computer technology, the Volvo driver receives assistance in difficult situations.“If the car is linked to Volvo On Call, help is never far away,” says Joost van den Bosch, Extended Offer Manager at Volvo Cars. “In some cases, all that’s required is to press a button, in others the alarm is triggered entirely automatically.” In the UK, Sweden, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg, the infrastructure will already be fully installed and running by early 2006.“Volvo owners in most other European countries nonetheless reap the benefits of the system since it can be utilised as soon as they cross the border into any of the seven already connected countries,” explains Joost van den Bosch. “And what is more, the service will be available in another seven countries as well, although they will be supported via an international service centre.”The additional seven countries are Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Portugal. Over the next few years Volvo will offer the Volvo On Call service to other markets as well.Two packages with different contentsVolvo On Call consists of two service packages: one standard package that focuses on safety and a supplementary package where the focus is on security (packaging and pricing may differ from market to market).The safety package consists of the necessary hardware – Volvo’s integrated GSM phone and a GPS receiver – and a five-year subscription to the services. The subscription accompanies the car if it goes to a new owner during the five-year period. The package encompasses the following services:
- Automatic alarm in an accident in which any airbag or seat belt pre-tensioner is activated.
- Manual alarm in an accident or in the event of sudden illness, by pressing the SOS button.
- Relay roadside assistance in the event of a problem with the car.The automatic alarm function gives the car’s occupants the fastest access to assistance – even in situations where they themselves are unable to raise the alarm. Volvo On Call can thus help reduce the risk of serious consequential injuries and even save lives.The safety package is linked to the car itself. It is therefore not necessary to supply the car owner’s personal details in order to utilise the services.The security package includes the following services:
- Automatic alarm transmitted to the Volvo On Call customer service when the car alarm has been activated.
- Tracking of a stolen car and information to the police. Volvo is the first car manufacturer to offer a factory-fitted tracking function.
- Remote unlocking of the car if the car keys are lost or accidentally locked inside the car.The security package is linked to the car’s owner and requires the provision of some personal information.The heart of Volvo On Call is the specially created customer service facility with round-the-clock staffing. In each of the seven originally connected countries there is a national service centre, while the seven additional countries are supported by an international facility.To provide the best possible support the operators can collect a lot of information on the car’s status and the situation of its passengers. They can monitor the car’s position and status from a distance and in the event of an accident they can see if the airbags have been deployed, if the windows are shut and the doors are locked. They can also read off the amount of fuel in the tank and the temperature inside and outside the car. Other information which the operator may need in order to provide the customer with good service is stored in a centrally located server.Safety requirements and security recommendations The EU proposal relates to an alarm function in the event of an accident. The proposal covers all new vehicles from 2009-2010 and aims to increase the chances of obtaining quick and correct assistance. It is accompanied by recommendations for the establishment of infrastructure and processes that Volvo Cars in fact already has in place. What is more, Volvo’s solution is more comprehensive, with an automatic alarm function, relaying of roadside assistance and various security facilities.With regard to security services, vehicle tracking and recovery, there are currently no pan-European legislative requirements.Future potentialVolvo On Call has been developed with the possibility of extending its services in the future.“Future service and hardware development, for instance, might make it possible diagnose the car’s condition and even install software remotely,” says Joost van den Bosch. “In other words, we will be able to supplement the upcoming safety and security systems with solutions for enhanced car ownership convenience and travel comfort.”