If you own a newer BMW model you might have noticed that there’s a button located right above the rear view mirror labeled ‘SOS’. Most of you probably wondered what it does and how it could come in handy. Yet, we were never curious enough or – hopefully – never actually needed to press it in the first place. Well, BMW put together a short clip and posted it on Youtube, explaining exactly what that button does.

The BMW Intelligent Emergency Call system has been implemented on BMWs over the last 10 years on various versions. It is meant to alert the emergency services in case something goes wrong or you’re involved in an accident. The system is capable of diagnosing the car and it will share relevant information with the rescuers so that they can arrive prepared for any kind of situation. When an emergency call is transmitted, relevant data will be sent along with it.

The data sent over may include the exact current position of the car (using GPS coordinates), the amount of airbags deployed and an estimation of the severity of the accident. Depending on where you’re located at the moment, your call could be directed to a BMW call center or directly to the authorities. All of this tech is bound to become standard in the EU over the next few years as a law in this regard has already been passed by the regulatory body.

In order to use the BMW Intelligent Emergency Call system you need to first tap to open the cover flap. Then, press and hold the SOS button until the LED in the button area is illuminated green. In emergency situations, the system may trigger automatically. If you are not directly involved in an emergency situation but you want to report one, you may also use the SOS button.