Google Brings its Emergency Location Service to Android in the US

Google Introduces Emergency Call Service in US to Locate Victims in Distress More Swiftly

Google ELS

Now in the USA, with the RapidSOS integration and T-Mobile compatibility to start, the process of locating someone who placed a 911 call from an Android will be even better.

When you call 911, Android devices will utilize Wi-Fi, mobile networks, Global Positioning System and sensors to give operators a more accurate location.

In addition, the company launched ELS in the US Virgin Islands through a partnership with the emergency technology company West and a regional wireless provider, Viya.

ELS is supported on Android version 4.0 and above, so 99 percent of Android devices are covered. What makes it all the more tragically ironic is that the very devices most often used to call 911 - smartphones - contain exceedingly accurate location data. In the couple years since that introduction, Google has expanded the ELS feature to Android users around the world, brining it to 14 countries.

Google ELS Working
Google ELS Working

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that the tech giant has struck a deal with T-Mobile to send Google Maps-like location data to emergency call centers from Android operating systems.

Calling 911 from an iPhone will soon automatically share the device's location with 911 centers. And it doesn't require a separate app or any configuration: "Your location is computed on the device and delivered directly to emergency providers, without passing through Google servers, and only when you explicitly call an emergency number", Google explains.

Hopefully, with this service in place, USA citizens will have similar success rates as other countries that already use ELS. "ELS provides a faster, more accurate location to emergency communications centers when an Android user places an emergency call, helping save lives by shortening emergency response times".

Should you ever need it, placing a call to 911 on your Android phone will now let responders on the other line know much more about your location. "With ELS and RapidSOS, we can actually take action in the emergency communications center to improve the safety of our citizens". For Android users on Viya, the integration with West allows more accurate location data to be delivered more quickly with ELS to emergency centers through existing channels.

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