ELS sends high-accuracy location to emergency services

Sep 19, 2018 16:20 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 

After announcing in July 2016 the Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) feature, Google is now expanding it to help T-Mobile Android users from the US to send accurate location info to emergency centers.

The Android ELS feature is designed to provide emergency services with accurate indoor and outdoor location based on Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell towers info, the same one offered by Google's Maps app.

Moreover, the location information is sent to emergency services whenever you dial an emergency number, entirely skipping Google's servers and services, thus helping first responders to locate you faster than ever before.

"Over the last two years, we’ve been expanding ELS worldwide; it's now available in 14 countries and provides location to emergency centers for more than 140,000 calls per day," says Jen Chai, Android Product Manager.

ELS is currently supported by more than 99% of all existing Android 4.0+ devices when the Google Play services are installed on the unit. However, the feature needs to be supported by both the emergency center and the mobile operator.

The ELS feature is available on all devices running Android 4.0 and upwards

Furthermore, users don't need to install any other application or operating system update to use ELS as all Android devices which support it will automatically compute it for you and send it to the emergency service you're calling.

Google provides the ELS feature through a partnership with RapidSOS, which allows the search giant to use its IP-based data platform to transfer the location data to emergency centers.

According to emergency communication centers which have already tested the Emergency Location Service tech, it has decreased "the average uncertainty radius from 159 meters to 37 meters (from 522 feet to 121 feet)."

ELS has also been launched in the US Virgin Islands, in partnership with the Viya wireless operator and West, a tech company which works closely with mobile operators.

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