“Communities rely on 911 centres in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement late on Monday.
“When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance,” he added.
Nearly 80 per cent of 911 calls come from mobile devices but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centres to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller’s location.
To address this challenge, Apple launched HELO (Hybridised Emergency Location) in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller’s location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WiFi Access Points.
According to Apple, it will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers, improving response time when lives and property are at risk.
“We are excited to work with Apple to provide first res ponders a new path for accurate, device-based caller location using trans formative Next Generation 911 technology,” said Rapid SOS CEO Michael Martin.