Google Tests System to Help Locate 911 Callers

Google Tests System to Help Locate 911 Callers”

When the 911 emergency number was set up in 1968, there was no way to know how cellphones would change the way people use the service. As weird as it may sound, pizza delivery companies have better, more accurate location tracking mechanism in place.

A new Google system may shave precious seconds off the amount of time it takes emergency responders to locate those who call 911 from a cell phone.

A report by the Wall Street Journal (via Engadget) claims that Google tested a system across a few States during December and January. Last year, Google updated its Phone app so that your location, including your address complete with a map and latitude and longitude coordinates, are automatically displayed when you call 911.

The test, which included 50 call centres that cover around 2.4 million people in Texas, Tennessee and Florida, was done in conjunction with two companies that have connections into 911 centres, West Corp and RapidSOS.

Google has conducted a trial of a new technology that will help 911 operators figure out the location of cellphone callers more accurately, media reported. While a cell network location gives 911 an average location radius of 522 feet, Google's method shows average radii of 121 feet.

Presumably, this tech would only work on Android smartphones, unless a deal can be worked out with Apple for a similar setup. But the location information they send isn't always precise, which can make it hard for emergency responders to find you.

Google says it hopes to implement this technology across the USA later this year, and will apparently be discussing alongside RapidSOS and West Corp, both of which were also involved with the trial, at an industry conference later this week.

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