Apple is trying to drag the US's antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the 21st century. The service, as you could have guessed from the emergency number mention, is for United States users only (Europe has its own 112 number), and works as a supplement to the current AML mapping dispatchers are used to. In iOS 12, when you make an emergency 911 call, your iPhone will automatically share the location of your device with emergency responders.
The company's iOS 12 update, scheduled to be released this fall, will allow iPhone users to "automatically and securely" share more precise location data. Apple already attempts to do that on the iPhone using Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO), but more accuracy is required.
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"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, in a statement about the new feature.
'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'. The new iOS feature will be a lot more accurate, according to Apple, potentialy saving lives.
The FCC is requiring all carriers to have the capability to locate mobile callers within 50 meters (164 feet) for at least 80 percent of wireless 911 calls by 2021.
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Under the new system, iPhones will send their exact location to a RapidSOS dispatcher, which will then forward the coordinates to local emergency response centers.
RapidSOS's technology integrates with existing software installed at many 911 centers, which is how they'll receive the data. RapidSOS's system will increase the precision considerably, the companies said.
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