NASHVILLE, TN—In a recent press release, Apple announced that iPhone users who call 911 will automatically share their location data with the first responders with the new iOS 12 update.
“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”
According to Apple, 80 percent of 911 calls come from mobile phones. In 2015, Apple released HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location). HELO is used to estimate the location of anyone who calls 911 by using cell towers and data sources such as GPS, and WiFi Access Points.
RapisSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline will be used by Apple to share location data with 911 quicker. RapidSOS is a emergency technology company based in New York. They will help give the location data of iOS users to 911 centers.
The FCC will be requiring carriers to locate callers within 50 meters by at least 80 percent in 2021. According to Apple, iOS will be able to exceed the FCC’s requirement.
“This is going to save a lot of lives,” said Tom Wheeler, a former FCC Chairman and RapidSOS investor.
The new iOS 12 update is expected to released in September, which Apple announced in Nashville during a 911 convention.