Google brings Emergency Location Service to U.S. with T-Mobile, RapidSOS

Google's making it easier for 911 to find your location in an emergency

Google is finally expanding the life-saving Android Emergency Location Service it first debuted in 2016 to the US. For Android users on Viya, our integration with West allows your more accurate location to be delivered more quickly with ELS to emergency centers through existing channels by wireless providers.

ELS is supported on 99 percent of Android devices (version 4.0 and above). While T-Mobile already had a way of doing this, ELS will help deliver higher accuracy in a shorter time.

The search giant and United States telecom have partnered with emergency technology providers RapidSOS and West to send emergency call centres information from Android's Emergency Location Services (ELS). ELS also helped emergency responders locate a non-English speaking 911 caller who couldn't relay her location, and even found a caller who had given the wrong address to the 911 operator. It's been that way for the entirety of human history and that won't change long into the future.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that the tech giant has struck a deal with T-Mobile to send Google Maps-like location data to emergency call centers from Android operating systems. The feature, now available in 14 countries and servicing 140,000 calls per day, uses a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS, mobile networks and sensor data to send accurate location data to emergency communications centers when a user places a call for help.

You might be wondering what you need to do to ensure ELS is on your phone. There aren't any updates or apps to install - it all just works.

Location data for 911 calls has always been an issue with smartphones, and as more and more people rely exclusively on their cellphone for communication, it's become more important to get more accurate location data to emergency call centers. The system is now available in 14 countries around the world, providing emergency centers with location data on more than 140,000 emergency calls per day. For example, in New Zealand, a caller was riding along on the highway when they saw a fire. "With ELS and RapidSOS, we can actually take action in the emergency communications center to improve the safety of our citizens".

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