IOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

IOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

Currently, about 80% of 911 calls come from mobile devices - but due to landline-era infrastructure it can be hard for 911 centers to quickly and accurately determine a mobile caller's location. To address this challenge, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and on-device data sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Access Points.

The hope here is that Apple jumpstarts a shift within the wireless industry that will allow emergency responders to automatically locate mobile callers in most - if not all - scenarios.

Apple this morning announced a new feature in iOS 12 which will automatically share your location with first responders when U.S. users dial 911 using their iPhone.

As 9To5Mac reports, Apple partnered with RapidSOS to offer the company's Next Generation 911 technology as a standard feature of iOS 12.

The update is expected to roll out later this year as part of iOS 12, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system.

The approach developed by Apple and RapidSOS sends location data from an iPhone to a "clearinghouse" accessible to emergency calling centers. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

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Note: iOS 12 is now only available as a developer beta, however, a public beta will likely be released sometime soon.

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.

Only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call.

Some centers already have the compatible software, according to Apple, but others will have to install upgrades to their existing software.

iPhone users will be able to automatically share their location with 911 operators in the event of an emergency.

Former top officials at the Federal Communications Commission lauded Apple's move.

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