August 24, 2009 By News Report
The EU is calling for voluntary deployment of eCall -- a collision notification system that uses GPS and wireless communications to notify public safety agencies if a vehicle is involved in a crash. But if member states don't hurry up and provide the infrastructure voluntarily, officials say they are ready to mandate it.
"Too many people are still dying on European roads," said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media, in a statement. "Every week I hear about road accidents where eCall would have helped. The time has come for member states and industry to move from talk to action ... I want to see the first eCall cars on our roads next year: If the eCall roll-out does not accelerate, the Commission stands ready to set out clear rules obliging governments, industry and emergency services to respond."
EU-wide standards have been agreed to by industry, but six EU countries are not ready to commit, citing costs.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.