The name 'eCall' stands for emergency call: It refers to new automatic emergency call system that is to be implemented in the EU starting April 2018.
From then on, all newly registered vehicles (i.e. passenger vehicles and light trucks) must be equipped with an eCall-capable GPS tracker. This kind of tracker not only determines the location, but also obtains relevant data from the sensory electronics (e.g., rollover, airbag deployment). On this basis, the device can automatically report an accident, independent of the car's location within the EU. The goal of eCall is to initiate rescue operations faster and, ultimately, to save more lives.
However, technically speaking and with the appropriate software, these devices can transmit much more than coordinates and information of an accident occurrence. The length of a trip and rest periods can be registered, routes be recorded or even the ignition of a vehicle be prevented.
eCall is a project of the eSafety initiative of the European Commission.