Over 70% of emergency calls come from mobile phones (Google Europe Blog, 2016). Time is of the essence and Google has tapped into this by creating an app titled Emergency Location Service.
Instead of manually specifying your location, the app uses data from your phone like GPS, network and WiFi location to work out where you are. When you call an emergency number, police, ambulance, or the fire brigade, information will be sent automatically through.
Android users in Estonia and the UK who have a mobile version 2.3 upwards, will be able to download the app through Google Play Services.
This app could mean the difference between life and death. US Federal Communications Commission estimates “an improved location accuracy which results in reducing wireless E911 response time by one minute can result in saving over 10,000 lives annually” (Google Europe Blog, 2016).
In order for this feature to become accessible worldwide, It will require the support of mobile networks. Vodafone, 3 network, Smit, Telia, BT and Tele2 are some of the phone providers backing this app. Product manager Askshay Kannan said, “We look forward to making Android’s Emergency Location Service available internationally. We are actively engaging with more countries and operators to make this widely available” (Digital Trends, 2016).