A new Android phone feature is coming to the U.S. Google had partnered with a company called RapidSOS to use a technology called ELS to automatically transmit precise location information to emergency services when you call 9-1-1 from your phone. Both T-Mobile customers and those living in areas where emergency services have already partnered with RapidSOS will be able to use the technology.
With more than 80% of 9-1-1 calls coming from mobile phones, this service is a much-needed improvement. ELS provides accurate locations both inside and out using a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS, mobile networks, and your phone’s sensors.
While other carriers also have methods for transmitting your location to 9-1-1, Google says ELS is more accurate.
According to Google, ELS has reduced the average uncertainty ratio for pinpointing where a call is coming from down to 121 feet from 522 feet. That can be a big difference when searching for someone in trouble. They say the service has been able to get first responders to the right location even when a caller has given an incorrect address.
ELS will work on 99% of Android devices running Android 4.0 and above. You won’t need to install a separate app or take any additional steps to activate it.
Google assures users that they won’t be receiving your location, that data will go directly from your phone to the first responders.