Auto Electronics

HUGHES Telematics partners with Intrado for emergency calls

HUGHES Telematics has entered an exclusive partnership agreement with Intrado Inc. in which Intrado will handle emergency calls from vehicles equipped with HUGHES Telematics systems. HUGHES Telematics is developing telematics systems for Chrysler and Mercedes.

Intrado’s Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) will be notified whenever an airbag deploys with Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) or a passenger initiates an emergency call. ECRC personnel will route the call through the 9-1-1 network to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

The HUGHES Telematics system will provide PSAP personnel with immediate access to critical information; for example, indicating that the vehicle has experienced a rollover.

Intrado’s ECRC is a hardened and secure call center facility staffed 24x7 by emergency dispatch-trained professionals.

HUGHES Telematics president Erik Goldman said Intrado’s extensive involvement with the U.S. 9-1-1- system and its well-trained, experienced ECRC personnel “will help us save lives and take appropriate and necessary action when our customers need it most.”

Monica Marics, vice president and general mnager of Intradoʼs wireless division, said Intrado’s operators possess extensive 9-1-1 dispatch experience and the company has a large team of 9-1-1 data integrity analysts who maintain the accuracy of Intrado’s PSAP database. She said the combination of the database and HUGHES Telematics’ technology facilitates a fast, accurate and appropriate response to drivers in emergency situations.

“All of our call agents are trained to handle public safety emergencies. They know how to screen calls and determine whether there is a true emergency,” Marics said. “Once they know it’s an emergency, they know which public service agency should receive the call, and they deliver the call directly into the native 9-1-1 network, not to an administrative line.

“When the call shows up at the PSAP, the PSAP gets not only the voice call but also data about the situation of the vehicle provided by the HUGHES Telematics device, such as how many people are in the vehicle, its speed, airbag deployment – and precisely where the vehicle is.”

HUGHES Telematics’ Goldman said his firm had considered setting up its own emergency call center, “but it’s a lot to re-create. With the technology we have, and Intrados has, we feel this (partnership) is the right thing to do. It isn’t the lowest cost, but we believe it’s the highest quality.”

Goldman said HUGHES Telematics has not yet decided upon a solution for handling information calls versus emergency calls. Mercedes maintains its own call center to field information requests.

“Awareness of connected safety is growing, and moving toward a cost of doing business,” Goldman said.

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