Most 911 emergency calls are made by someone who is at the scene of the emergency, which is why figuring out where they are quickly is so vital. Apple's system uses technology that estimates a phone's location with data from cell towers, GPS and Wi-Fi access points. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States".
The hope here is that Apple jumpstarts a shift within the wireless industry that will allow emergency responders to automatically locate mobile callers in most - if not all - scenarios. "User data can not be used for any non-emergency goal and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call", the company said.
Apple today announced it will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers, improving response time when lives and property are at risk.
As Apple revealed at WWDC 2018, iOS 12 is getting a lot of handy new features, but one in particular could be a real life saver.
'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'. Its location services exceed this requirement today, and now 911 centers will have access to the same accuracy.
The approach developed by Apple and RapidSOS sends location data from an iPhone to a "clearinghouse" accessible to emergency calling centers. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here's to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries. Apple typically releases its major iOS updates in September.
Apple maintains that its users' location data will remain private, even when it's shared with authorities. It will see the location of US iPhone users shared with dispatch responders during 911 calls.