When iOS 12 is released later this year, iPhone users in the U.S. who call 911 will be able to automatically and securely share their location information with 911 dispatchers, providing faster and more accurate information to help reduce emergency response times.
In 2015, Apple launched (HELO) Hybridized Emergency Location, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers, GPS, and WiFi Access Points. Apple will now begin using emergency technology company RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers. RapidSOS's system will supply location data by integrating with many 911 centers' existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.
"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. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance."
Apple ensures the privacy and security of user data. Location information won't be used for non-emergency reasons, and only first responders have access to it during an emergency call.