GOA, India — When it debuts with the all-new EcoSport later this year, Ford’s ‘Emergency Assistance (EA)’— a potentially life-saving system, will be an industry first in India. Ford India will be the first auto manufacturer and EcoSport will be the only vehicle in its segment to offer the service.
Emergency Assistance is a vehicle-based, free call-for-help system that is already available in more than 5 million Ford vehicles globally, providing owners peace of mind when travelling. The service is absolutely free for the entire ownership cycle of the vehicle.
“We’re so excited about being the first automaker to provide this technology where EcoSport will be uniquely positioned amidst segment players,” said Joginder Singh, president and managing director, Ford India at the EcoSport international media drive in Goa.
Emergency Assistance works by delivering a critical voice message directly to emergency operators, indicating that a Ford vehicle has been involved in an accident. Two factors act as the trigger – instances in which the airbags have been deployed, or the fuel pump shut off has been activated after a collision. Ford’s award-winning SYNC system then automatically uses the driver’s mobile phone to place a call to the Emergency Assistance partner’s toll-free number, providing them with the exact co-ordinates of the car’s location, before opening the line for hands-free communication.
Before initiating the emergency call, the vehicle’s SYNC system will provide a 10- second window to allow the driver or passenger to decide whether to cancel the call. If not manually cancelled, SYNC will place the emergency call.
“The beauty of EA is that it works even when the driver is unconscious or unable to talk after an accident. We already have made a positive impact in China with several success stories and are working with local partners to roll it out in other markets soon,” said Sifei Wang, product manager for Emergency Assistance, Connected Services Solution Organisation, Ford Asia Pacific.
Starting with ‘911 assist’ in North America in 2008, Emergency Assistance was launched in 2011. It came to Asia Pacific with its launch in February this year, and after India, the next market to get it will be Australia. “Being free-for-life, EA offers reassuring peace of mind to our customers every time they drive,” Wang added.
In India, Ford has partnered with GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, a pioneer in Emergency Management Services in India. GVK EMRI will provide the service through a common toll-free ‘108’ number across India, barring four states where it does not operate currently.
“We’re very pleased to see a company like Ford take the initiative to launch such a critical service, which will provide Ford customers with an extra level of comfort knowing that should they be involved in an accident, that “108 Emergency Services” will automatically be contacted, “said Subodh Satyawadi, Chief Executive Officer, GVK-EMRI.
Wang added that, “In fact, we are optimistic that Emergency Assistance could become an industry standard with other OEMs following suit and making the roads a lot more safer.”
A GVK-EMRI ambulance that will respond to calls from Emergency Assistance