The Next Step in IoT User Safety: Connecting Uber Users to 911

by Hfbtech

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Apps and connected devices set the gold standard in collecting accurate data that makes our lives easier – starting with accurate, real-time location. What if the same technology that allows app users to order transportation with the touch of a button could provide life-saving data to first responders?

Our new partnership with Uber connects users to 911 with a voice connection and sends accurate user location data directly to 911. We’re excited to work with Uber to enhance user safety and transform emergency response.

“Why Can Uber Find Me But 911 Can’t?”

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911 call-takers frequently receive incomplete or inaccurate location descriptions from callers who are confused, in distress, or unable to verbally communicate. Today’s 911 infrastructure was designed for landlines, and public safety answering points (PSAPs) have to rely on network-based location information to locate wireless callers. The location data call takers and dispatchers receive is not reliably accurate and can take 30 seconds or more to arrive – leading to the common question, “Why can Uber find me but 9-1-1 can’t?”

Applications like Uber locate users with a device-based approach that relies on multiple sources of information (GPS, WiFi access points, etc.). While using the Uber app, this information is available immediately on the device, so that the location will be available to 911 even before the call is received.

Starting with Denver, CO, when an Uber user initiates a 911 call via the Uber app’s 911 Assistance feature, 911 will receive the user’s location. This means users will have access to faster and better prepared emergency response.


Emergency API: Simple API Calls to Connect Your Device to 911

The RapidSOS Emergency API is a solution to connect any IoT device directly to 911. We’ve spent five years developing software catered to the specific needs of the 911 community. Our software integrates directly into 911 PSAPs, so data from devices appears in existing 911 software dashboards. The Emergency API allows IoT companies to provide users with faster, cheaper, and data-driven emergency response via API – without the need for public safety expertise.

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Our self-service console allows for customizable call flows, automatic location transmission, and sending additional data over IP. Call flows can be either a simple, direct connection initiated between the caller and 9-1-1, or a complex logical flow chart including multiple callers and 9-1-1 centers with tunable timing, SMS messaging, text-to-speech, and interactive voice response (IVR) components. These flows can be initiated through simple API triggers from any connected device.

You can request access to the RapidSOS Emergency Console to start connecting your device today.