June 18 (UPI) — Apple announced Monday its iOS 12 operating system will be capable of securely sharing locations of calls made to 911.
The operating system will use RapidSOS, an emergency technology company, to enable 911 call centers to immediately identify locations of Apple phone users.
“Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centers to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller’s location,” Apple said. “RapidSOS’s system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers’ existing software.”
The emergency locator will exceed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s 2021 requirements requiring carriers to locate callers to within 165 feet at 80 percent efficiency.
“This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety,” former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS.”
The service will be available later this year, Apple said.