Today we are excited to announce that RapidSOS and Google have launched Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) in the U.S. This allows Android devices to send faster, more accurate 911 caller location to 911 communications centers nationwide – all through the secure RapidSOS Clearinghouse.
How it works: Android ELS via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse
Any 911 center with access to the RapidSOS Platform will automatically receive faster and more accurate device-based caller location for 911 calls from Android devices. The caller doesn’t need to do anything – the service is automatically enabled.
This is not a replacement to the Carrier location Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) already receive through the ALI – rather, it is a supplemental source of data to help dispatchers quickly and securely access caller location. 911 centers with the RapidSOS Clearinghouse integration will receive the Android device location data in addition to the ALI location they are used to.
Android ELS: Source of Device-Based Location
99% of Android devices (version 4.0 and upwards) support Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) – an Android service that transmits a more reliable emergency location both indoors and outdoors (by fusing Wi-Fi, GPS, cell tower data, and other sources) to emergency services during a 911 call. ELS is already being used in 15 countries worldwide and there have been numerous stories where the ELS technology has saved lives.
RapidSOS Clearinghouse: Secure Location & Data Platform for Public Safety
The RapidSOS Clearinghouse is a NG911 standards compliant Location Information Server (LIS) and Additional Data Repository (ADR) that integrates into most major 9-1-1 call-taking, dispatching and mapping systems, and is also accessible through RapidSOS Portal. RapidSOS offers this service at no cost to public safety, and it can be accessed by any authorized 911 center in the United States. Over 5,000 agencies, covering more than 300 million Americans, are already receiving life-saving data from the RapidSOS Platform.
The impact: Android ELS via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse
In January 2018, RapidSOS and Google conducted a pilot project to evaluate an integration of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) with the RapidSOS Platform. Three test regions participated in the pilot project and ELS location was captured via the RapidSOS Platform and transmitted to the pilot PSAPs as supplemental location for a fraction of wireless 9-1-1 calls. The objective was to measure location accuracy and speed of delivery, as well as to understand the operational impact of delivering supplemental device location to PSAPs.
Key Findings from the RapidSOS and Google Pilot: Faster, More Accurate Location Saves Lives
Key Finding 1: ELS through the RapidSOS Clearinghouse was more accurate and faster than traditional E911 location.
- While apps locate users based on the device location, 9-1-1 call-takers rely on inaccurate and slow network-based data to locate wireless callers. The results of this pilot show that ELS location via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse provides more accurate location data, and a faster speed of delivery, than the ALI.
Key Finding 2: PSAPs successfully received Android ELS supplemental location from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, integrated into their existing software.
- Through free integrations into existing call-taking, dispatch, and mapping software (full list of partners here), the RapidSOS Clearinghouse enables PSAPs to receive supplemental device-based location on the systems that call-takers are already used to. This pilot showcased how via the RapidSOS Clearinghouse, device-based location can successfully be transmitted to PSAPs as supplemental location to the ALI.
Key Finding 3: This location technology was used during real emergencies, saving lives.
- The most exciting part of the pilot was seeing the positive impact this location technology has on real emergencies. From medical emergencies to car crashes, multiple stories were captured from the pilot that demonstrate the importance of accurate location information in dispatching help quickly and efficiently.
How can my PSAP get access?
There are two ways for PSAPs to access life-saving data from the RapidSOS Clearinghouse – through existing PSAP software systems or through RapidSOS Portal. To make sure you don’t miss out on having access to data from Android devices today, follow these two steps:
Step 1: Claim your PSAP’s 100% free, zero-commitment, RapidSOS Portal account in minutes today.
Step 2: Set up a meeting with your RapidSOS public safety representative to determine the easiest path to an integration through your CPE, CAD, or mapping software.