Google is testing a new system that will send a more accurate location information of people calling 911 to emergency responders. The company tested the system across 50 call centers in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida in December and January covering over 2.4 million people.
Google sent location information of random 911 callers using an android phone straight to the person taking this call. The early results are very promising as the location sent by Google provided one with an estimated location of the caller within a radius of 121 feet. In comparison, the location data sent by a wireless carrier provides an estimated location of a caller within a radius of 522 feet. Even better, Google’s data arrived faster than that of wireless carriers thereby allowing them to respond to an emergency situation faster. Federal regulators believe that reducing the response time by a minute could end up saving 10,000 lives every year.
Its likely that the tech being used by Google here would only work on Android smartphones unless Apple also jumps onboard and implements something similar to iOS. Google had already implemented something similar in its Phone app last year where it would automatically display your coordinates, address etc. when calling 911.
Google, RapidSOS, and other companies part of this trial will discuss the results at a 911 industry conference later this week. Google is hoping to implement this new technology across the US later this year. If implemented, this would allow 911 emergency responders to get to an emergency quickly which could translate into a lot of lives being saved.