GSA, Joint Research Centre test automotive eCall with Spirent

April 11, 2018  - By
Image: GPS World

Spirent Communications plc is working with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) to help implement the eCall system, which is required in new cars sold in Europe starting in April.

Experts from the JRC have been working with Spirent GNSS test equipment during the European GNSS Agency (GSA) eCall test campaign. The campaign aims to pre-test eCall in-vehicle modules and evaluate their compatibility with the positioning services provided by Galileo and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in accordance with the test procedures established by the regulation.

As the eCall initiative goes live this month, the GSA launched a test initiative to support eCall device manufacturers in their preparation for type approval. In safety-critical situations, eCall must be as accurate as possible, so defining and conducting proper test procedures is imperative.

Spirent is cooperating with the JRC to develop its own eCall test solution. “Working with JRC enabled us to develop better tests to verify that eCall devices are working properly,” said Steve Hickling, product director for Spirent’s positioning business.

When a collision occurs, an eCall-equipped car automatically calls the nearest emergency centre. Even if no passenger is able to speak – such as because of injuries — a “minimum set of data” is sent, which includes the exact location of the crash site. eCall is expected to significantly reduce emergency service response times, leading to lives saved and injuries reduced.

The JRC used a Spirent GSS9000 simulator to assess eCall devices’s capability to support the reception and processing of the Galileo and EGNOS signals. Using feedback from the JRC, Spirent has developed an eCall Test Suite for its automation solution, PT TestBench.

Tested with various eCall devices, the eCall Test Suite is available for eCall device manufacturers and include, among others, positioning accuracy, time to first fix, GNSS receiver sensitivity and reacquisition performance.

For more information on Spirent’s GNSS testing solutions, visit the website or download the company’s white paper Detecting and Protecting Against GPS Cyberthreats.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.