Android Emergency Location Service Launches in the US

Doris Richards
September 20, 2018

Google told the Wall Street Journal that it tested its ELS tech in emergency call centers earlier this year and found that it reduced the average radius in which a caller might be located from 522 feet down to 121 feet.

According to Google, 80% of 911 emergency calls come from a mobile phone.

Google's ELS pinpoints the location of a T-Mobile customer's handset through a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks and sensors, in much the same way Google Maps provides location data, Google said.

In an announcement today, Google revealed that it has teamed with T-Mobile and RapidSOS to bring ELS to the United States. ELS is now used in 14 countries and on 140,000 calls a day to quickly roll out help to those in emergency situations. If you are indoors, for example, your Global Positioning System connection could be spotty, and sometimes the information sent to the emergency service provider is so vague that it's pretty much useless in tracking you down in a short amount of time. Whereas current emergency solutions in the U.S. use cell tower location (which can provide a radius of up to several kilometers) or assisted Global Positioning System (which uses satellite and cell tower data, but can fail indoors), ELS use the same location tech as seen in Google Maps.

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Back in 2016, Google announced the launch of Emergency Location Service in Android, a feature that provides 911 call centers with important location data.

Google developed ELS in partnership with a company called RapidSOS and it's deploying the service in partnership with US wireless carrier T-Mobile and telecom service West.

Hopefully, with this service in place, US citizens will have similar success rates as other countries that already use ELS.

In the USA, emergency tech firm RapidSOS provides ELS locations directly to emergency communications centers through its secure platform, which is integrated directly into existing software at emergency centers in the US. ELS may have taken a while to get here, but thank goodness it exists now.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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