Google Brings its Emergency Location Service to Android in the US

22 September, 2018, 02:27 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Google's making it easier for 911 to find your location in an emergency

Now, they partnered to merge Google's location data with T-Mobile before sending it to 911.

Most T-Mobile customers with Android devices will now send location data from Google's ELS, but in markets where RapidSOS is integrated into emergency call centers, Android users will send the information through the startup company, according to The Wall Street Journal. The watch has several vital features including the ability to identify locations of emergencies. This deal is an indication that smartphone OS providers are enhancing the quality of location data that they transfer when a user calls 911.

Locating callers has become a growing problem for 911 operators in recent years.

As CNET points out, the vast majority of emergency calls in the United States are made from mobile devices, according to stats from the National Emergency Number Association. In order to pinpoint your device, it uses a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors; it is as accurate as the location details you get on Google Maps.

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T-Mobile and Google have been working on this issue for years. Additionally, the standard ELS is already present on all Android devices (Android 4.4 and up), so rest assured that whenever you call 911, your Global Positioning System information is likely being shared.

Emergency centers tested the technology in the country. It reduces the uncertainty radius to 37 meters from 159 meters. At the Collier County Sheriff's office in Florida, a caller who had given an incorrect address was able to be found thanks to ELS. During emergencies, responders can also locate non-English speaking callers who struggle to communicate with the operator. This made things hard for first responders by adding the extra of having to manually find the address of those who have called emergency services and it presents even more problems when a device is indoors. It is especially useful for tourists. The two will work with RapidSOS towards providing a quick response to emergency calls and also finding their location swiftly.

Any emergency communications center can access data from the NG911 Clearinghouse today with RapidLite, a 100% free, secure, web-based tool for public safety agencies. That is, they do not pass through Google servers.

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