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E-Call and Automotive Industry: General Safety Regulations 2019/2144 of EU and Turkey

27 May, 2020

The growing vulnerability of road users before the connectivity and automation of vehicles have necessitated safety regulations to be updated and adapted to the up to date technologies in European Union (“EU”) level. Therefore, on December 16, 2020, the Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users (“General Safety Regulation 2019/2144”) was published on official journal of the EU. Pursuant to the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, it shall apply from July 6, 2022.

General Safety Regulation 2019/2144 introduces advanced safety systems for vehicles such as intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock installation facilitation, driver drowsiness and attention warning, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency stop signal, reversing detection, and event data recorder. Hence, such safety systems require processing of personal data, data protection and cyber security issues will take an important place regarding their applications. Moreover, given SIM technologies’ expanding usage and roles in our daily lives, such systems will include the use of remotely programmable or electronic SIM technologies (“eSIM”) in order to function.

In regard to the European Custom’s Union, Turkey also adopted General Safety Regulation 2019/2144 on May 14, 2020. Even though, there are still issues to be solved regarding the functionality of Emergency Call (“eCall”) systems in Turkey, manufacturers have to be compliant with the new advanced safety systems by the effective date of such obligations which is July 6, 2022. In this information note, some of the new advanced safety systems and the requirements of the eSIM technologies in Turkey will be reviewed.

New Advanced Safety Systems

Pursuant to the Article 6 of the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, all motor vehicles shall be equipped with the intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock installation facilitation, driver drowsiness and attention warning, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency stop signal, reversing detection, and event data recorder (“EDR”). Specific requirements and regulations regarding each of the mentioned advanced safety systems are expected to be issued.

According to the Recital 14 of General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, any processing of personal data, as regard to the EDR or driver drowsiness and attention warning, should be carried out in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. The General Safety Regulation 2019/2144 of Turkey refers to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 in regard to the data protection legislation.

Driver Drowsiness and Attention Warning Systems

Pursuant to the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, driver drowsiness and attention warning system means a system that assesses the driver’s alertness through vehicle systems analysis and warns the driver if needed. In order to protect personal data of drivers, such systems shall not continuously record nor retain any data other than what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed within the closed-loop system. Accordingly, collected data shall not be accessible or made available to third parties at any time and shall be immediately deleted after processing. According to General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, the data which can be collected for such purposes are not defined or limited yet.

Event Data Recorder

According to the Article 6(4)(a) of the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, EDR shall record the data including vehicle’s speed, braking, position and tilt of the vehicle on the road, the state and rate of activation of all its safety systems, 112-based eCall in-vehicle system, brake activation and relevant input parameters of the on-board active safety and accident avoidance systems in the event of a collision. Accordingly, it is required that collected data may not reveal the identity of the driver or holder. Manufacturers have to provide high level of accuracy and ensured survivability of the related data.

Even though, most of the EDRs functions as black boxes, over-the-air data transmissions may be needed in order to provide ensured survivability of EDR data. According to the Article 6(4)(d) of the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, the EDR data shall be made available to national authorities only for the purpose of accident research and analysis. Hence, the scope of purposes of processing is limited to the Article 6(4)(d) of the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, such data may not be used to reveal offences or traffic violations. Yet, their usage by courts in terms of legal claims remains to be shaped by national laws. Moreover, manufacturers have to take into consideration their specific data protection obligations in terms of the eCall safeguards under related legislation.

Background

What is eCall system?

eCall is an automatic 112-based call and data transfer system which is triggered by in-vehicle censors in case of a potential emergency and generates through an in-vehicle equipment, generally includes emended electronic SIM cards, in order to detect emergency situations in an early phase and save lives. If censors in a vehicle are triggered by a vehicle accident, eCall dials 112 to contact the most appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (“PSAP”) and transfers the details of such accident (“Minimum Set of Data’ or “MSD”) as defined in the Regulation (EU) 2015/758 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall in-vehicle system based on the 112 service (“Regulation 2015/758”) to the PSAP. Addition to its automatic functioning in case of an emergency, the system of the eCall is also designed to be triggered manually by the drivers who witnesses accidents. Pursuant to related legislation, all new types of M1 and N1 vehicles, approved for manufacture after March 31, 2018, must have the 112-based eCall system installed.

Localization Issues in Turkey

To comply with the standards of the European Union, the Regulation on the Type-Approval Requirements for the Deployment of the eCall In-Vehicle System Based on the 112 Service (“2015/758/AB”) came into force on March 31, 2018 in Turkey.

Prior to the effective date of the 2015/758/AB, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority of Turkey (“Bilgi Teknolojileri ve İletişim Kurumu” or “BTK”) decided that the in-vehicle equipment which generates the eCall or being used for value added services has to be functioned through local servers via a SIM, an eSIM, or a module engaged with a SIM card feature provided from local authorized operators or be eligible to be controlled by a local authorized operator, if it includes SIM, eSIM, or a module engaged with a SIM card feature in its decision numbered 2018/DK-YED/27 dated January 22, 2018 “Decision 2018/DK-YED/27”). Many manufacturers suspended their eCall and other value-added services for an indefinite period of time until full compliance with the Decision 2018/DK-YED/27 is achieved. Consequently, local mobile operators in Turkey launched their eCall solutions for their corporate and individual costumers.

Furthermore, the BTK has expanded its localization stand to all kinds of remotely programmable SIM technologies in its decision numbered 2019/DK-TED/053 dated February 12, 2019 (“Decision 2019/DK-TED/053”). In the Decision 2019/DK-TED/053, the BTK decided that all remote programmable SIM technologies including embedded SIM and embedded universal integrated circuit card may only be programmable by local authorized operators and be vested with local authorized operator profiles. Moreover, such SIM technologies have to be engaged with infrastructures, systems, servers, software, and storing units provided by a local authorized operator or a third party on behalf of the operator in Turkey and the collected data shall be stored within Turkey. As of February 29, 2020, the BTK’s deadline for localization was expired.

Conclusion

In consideration of the foregoing, manufacturers’ in Turkey have to comply with the localization requirements and adjust their safety systems to the updated requirements in line with the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144 within the relevant deadlines stipulated under the General Safety Regulation 2019/2144. In the event that new advanced safety systems require the use of remotely programmable SIM technologies, manufacturers in Turkey will require to be compliant with the Decision 2019/DK-TED/053. Moreover, in light of the fact that new advanced safety systems will require processing of personal data, the data protection requirements should not be avoided. Yet, specific legal requirements and provisions are expected to be drafted for each of the new advanced safety systems. 

Aslı Naz Ünlü

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