Apple says that iPhone users in the United States who call 911 will be able to automatically and securely share their location data with first responders beginning later this year with iOS 12.
With the new feature, 911 centers will be able to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller's location, in case of an emergency call.
Apple has already launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) since 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WiFi Access Points. iOS 12 will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to share HELO location data with 911 centers, improving response time. RapidSOS's system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers' existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.
Apple says that iPhone users' data cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call.
The U.S. FCC requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. Apple claims that iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today.