In 1968 the 911 emergency number was set up for the first time. Little did we know that cellphones in modern day would change the way in which people use the 911 emergency service.
Operators cannot know from where a caller is located exactly, but Google is here to change that. Google, the search engine giant has been testing out new ways to use the advanced technology that can identify a user’s exact location in Google Maps in order to assist emergency services.
911 calls made in December 2017 and January 2018 made using Android phones used geolocation data that was sent right to the operator. Carriers at the moment can determine the location of a device by triangulating their distance by using various cell phone towers. However this method is not always completely accurate.
This specific study showed that the data used from Google provided a more accurate estimate of location, one that was within 121 feet, rather than the carrier data that was 522 feet on average.
At the moment, it is up to the operator to figure out where an emergency caller is located. However since callers are often stressed out and not in a comfortable or safe place to calmly talk and discuss where they are, it can be rather challenging.
Therefore in these situations, even the smallest of improvements in response time can save many lives. The Federal Communications Commission published their findings that up to 10,000 lives could be saved per year if emergency responses times were sped up by merely one minute.
Although this technology is not new to Google, many people feel uncomfortable with the idea that their smartphone is being tracked, however in certain causes, the benefits are worth it.