To redress the fact that most 911 call centers have trouble locating such calls, Apple is collaborating with RapidSOS, an emergency tech company which adds a "data pipeline" through which the company can feed its Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) data to emergency services. 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.
"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", Dennis Patrick, who was the FCC chairman from 1987 to 1989, said in Apple's press release.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said it is partnering with New York-based RapidSOS on the feature for iOS 12 in the U.S. Currently, emergency services can determine the location of an iPhone caller via a technology called Hybridized Emergency Location, which uses a phone's Global Positioning System and WiFi connectivity, in addition to local cell towers. When iOS 12 becomes available, Apple will use a technology called RapidSOS to quickly and securely share HELO data with 911 operators.
The iOS 12 change list now includes a potentially life-saving upgrade in the U.S., one that will allow first responders to pinpoint your whereabouts in an emergency. It does this, as you've probably guessed, using the iPhone's readily-available data connection to the internet.More news: Phil Mickelson takes 2-shot penalty for hitting a moving golf ball!
'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here's to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries. We'll find out more when iOS 12 launches later this year, so stay tuned.
Apple maintains that its users' location data will remain private, even when it's shared with authorities.
Former top officials at the Federal Communications Commission lauded Apple's move.