With iOS 12, calls to 911 will deliver life-saving location accuracy


The company has also partnered with a company called RapidSOS, which will securely transmit the data to 911 centers.

"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", said Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989.

Apple launched its HELO or Hybridized Emergency Location system in 2015 as part of its answer to this problem.

Back in 2015, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and on-device data sources like Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi Access Points.

'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'.

The feature, which will only be available to those in the United States and will not hook into worldwide emergency services, will be powered by RapidSOS's IP-based system and will securely provide call centers with Hybridized Emergency Location Data by pulling data based on proximity to WiFi access points and cell towers.

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"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection", said RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin.

If it lives up to Apple's promise, the iPhone's next operating system will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centers in the U.S. Android's phone app shares users' Global Positioning System location during emergency calls.

RapidSOS works with trusted PSAP and first responder software vendors to deliver precise location and rich data to call-takers, dispatchers and first responders via existing call-taking, dispatch, and mapping software.

The new iOS 12 feature aims to get accurate location data to first-responders more quickly, cutting emergency response times.

By embracing this tech and making it a standard feature, Apple is actually complying with an FCC rule expected to come into force in 2021.

Apple's iOS 11 includes a great SOS feature for when you feel unsafe in an emergency, but you may want to disable the feature on your iPhone or Apple Watch to avoid accidentally calling 911.