When Google tested the ELS, participants said that it made it easier for them to find individuals who did not have any clue of their exact location. For Android users on Viya, our integration with West allows your more accurate location to be delivered more quickly with ELS to emergency centers through existing channels by wireless providers. In the United States, more than 80% of the 911 calls are from wireless devices.
Most T-Mobile customers with Android devices will now send location data from Google's ELS, but in markets where RapidSOS is integrated into emergency call centers, Android users will send the information through the startup company, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Should you ever need it, placing a call to 911 on your Android phone will now let responders on the other line know much more about your location. In testing the technology in the USA, emergency centers have told us ELS has already helped save lives in their jurisdiction, decreasing the average uncertainty radius from 159 meters to 37 meters (from 522 feet to 121 feet).
This is a huge problem, but luckily a new service is rolling out to all Android phones (running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher) in the USA that will increase the accuracy of this system. When an Android phone calls 911 and ELS is used, the phone sends a location to the emergency communications center using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks, and sensors, giving you the same kind of location data that you'd get when using Google Maps.
ELS itself is not new to Android. Apple announced the emergency call-location feature in June and is also partnering with RapidSOS. In the couple years since that introduction, Google has expanded the ELS feature to Android users around the world, brining it to 14 countries. For example, in New Zealand, a caller was riding along on the highway when they saw a fire.
The company spent several years working closely with thousands of public safety officials across the United States to develop a universal data link into 911 and first responder networks. Fire and Emergency New Zealand were able to use ELS to locate the caller and the fire.