Automotive innovator considers Coventry and wider Midlands as site for European facility

IMR Technologies is investigating sites in Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider Midlands, to be home to its new European facility.

The Australian company behind the solution to the European Union’s ruling that all new car and light commercial vehicle models sold in the EU from 31 March 2018 be fitted with 112-based eCall (the Pan-European cellular emergency system for motor vehicles) technology, is investigating sites in Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider Midlands, to be home to its new European facility.

IMR Technologies invested many years and millions of dollars in designing and engineering its IMR Sentinel In-Vehicle System, which was recently certificated compliant with standard EN16454 relating to 112-based eCall. Should a vehicle be in a collision, the IMR Sentinel will immediately make the free-of-charge 112-based eCall, alert the local PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) and thus the emergency services.  It will share the vehicle’s precise geo-location, its make and model details and its circumstances, for example if it is lying on its roof, as a data package.  The occupants of the vehicle may also liaise with the emergency services but, if they are incapable through injury, the Sentinel will do it for them.

Managing Director, Martyn Gilbert, says: “Certification was awarded to the IMR Sentinel for fitting to new car and light commercial vehicle models sold in the EU following a series of demanding tests last year.  IMR Technologies continues to engage in more advanced development and strategic sales and marketing in Europe.  We recognise the respect that Europe and the rest of the world have for British design capabilities and engineering innovation and so decided that the UK will be the centre for European sales, marketing and commercial development.  

“We therefore launched IMR Technologies (UK) Ltd as the European entity and IMR Technologies (UK) is investigating appropriate sites in Coventry and the Midlands for its design engineering, sales and support activities.”

The EU legislation recognises that providing the emergency services with relevant information, including a precise location, the instant that a collision occurs, can slash the services’ response time by 50% in rural and 40% in urban settings.

Martyn Gilbert has flown to the UK to join Steven Warner, Commercial Manager of the European operation, in the search for an appropriate facility, which would offer offices, space for R&D and engineering and parking.  “The Midlands and surrounding areas have long been home to automotive innovation,” adds Steven Warner.

“The region enjoys excellent access to the road and rail networks and airports, which are vital to underpinning communications for multinational businesses.  Whichever site is specified would become home to a number of automotive engineers and marketers all working towards one goal – vehicle occupant safety and rescue.”

The EU legislation recognises that providing the emergency services with relevant information, including a precise location, the instant that a collision occurs, can slash the services’ response time by 50% in rural and 40% in urban settings.  “It’s anticipated that this time-saving element will offer those involved and injured more chance of treatment with the Golden Hour – the first sixty minutes following an accident – and, potentially, save lives,” continues Steven.

Prior to the EU legislation and EN16454, a number of vehicle manufacturers devised their own commercial solutions to enhance the safety of drivers and passengers.  Many of the systems, however, are based upon a subscription model, giving rise to the potential that a vehicle could be sold to another owner who is unaware of the need for a subscription, rendering the system redundant.  

Fundamental to the EU 112-based eCall concept is that the system is free to use – no subscription - and it must link directly to the emergency services’ operators - PSAPs - who will then attempt to speak to vehicle occupants. The Sentinel’s SIM remains dormant - neither draining energy nor demanding network tariffs - until the vehicle is involved in an incident, when the SIM hunts for the most suitable network via which to make the 112 eCall.

“The designers and technologists at IMR Technologies engineered the IMR Sentinel In-Vehicle-System, a device that more than meets the requirements for full OEM fitment and EN16454,” concludes Steven.