"We are excited to work with Apple to provide first responders a new path for accurate, device-based caller location using transformative Next Generation 911 technology". Apple will also use technology from emergency technology company RapidSOS to share HELO location data with 911 centers.
Apple's HELO tech doesn't share your exact location - instead, it estimates your location by using your cell tower's data, as well as other sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Acess Points which can be used by 911 responders. According to Apple, iOS location services already exceed this requirement, while Apple's new feature will allow the company to make these benefits available to local 911 centers now.
A new patent awarded to Apple has technology for the iPhone to send 911 responders to the emergency location. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".
If you're anxious about privacy, Apple reassures that only the responding 911 center will have access to your location, and that your information can't be used for non-emergency purposes.
An estimated 80 percent of roughly 240 million emergency calls in the USA this year will come from mobile phones, most of which are capable of precisely tracking where their users are.
We expect iOS 12 to launch in the fall, and with it all iPhones from the iPhone 5s through to the iPhone X will use the RapidSOS system during emergency calls.
It states that carriers must "locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021". With the release of iOS 12, very precise location details for emergency calls will be a standard feature.
Tom Wheeler, former FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017, said: "Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS".
The existing 911 system was designed for a time when everyone used landlines and call operators could easily pinpoint phones' locations.
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