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Press Release

European GNSS Agency and Joint Research Centre test Automotive eCall devices using Spirent GNSS simulators

PAIGNTON, UK, 11 April, 2018 - Spirent Communications plc (LSE:SPT), the world leader in Galileo, GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) testing solutions, today announced it is working with the European Commission’s Joint Ressearch Centre (JRC) to help implement the eCall system, which is required in new cars from April 2018.

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 in April, 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 – for example due to injuries - a 'Minimum Set of Data' is sent, which includes the exact location of the crash site. eCall is expected to significantly reduce emergency services’ 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 now available for eCall device manufacturers and include, among others, positioning accuracy, time-to-first-fix, GNSS receiver sensitivity and re-acquisition performance.

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