Google `Emergency Location Service` for Android now in US

Google and T Mobile combine to give U.S. 911 operators a better idea where callers are located

Google's making it easier for 911 to find your location in an emergency

ELS provides the caller's location to emergency alarm centres, helping to shorten response times.

Google also said it has already launched ELS in the U.S. Virgin Islands through a partnership with West and a regional wireless provider, Viya. Whereas current emergency solutions in the United States use cell tower location (which can provide a radius of up to several kilometers) or assisted Global Positioning System (which uses satellite and cell tower data, but can fail indoors), ELS use the same location tech as seen in Google Maps.

On Wednesday, Google announced the launch of ELS in the U.S. through a partnership with T-Mobile, RapidSOS and West.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that the tech giant has struck a deal with T-Mobile to send Google Maps-like location data to emergency call centers from Android operating systems.

ELS is supported by around 99% of Android devices as it works on Android 4.0 and higher.

Google says it will expand ELS to more countries and, within the USA, to more carriers quickly.

Calling 911 from an iPhone will soon automatically share the device's location with 911 centers. This made things hard for first responders by adding the extra of having to manually find the address of those who have called emergency services and it presents even more problems when a device is indoors. Cell phones have presented a troubling issue when it comes to locating callers, but Google's Emergency Location Service feature in Android aims to solve the problem.

Hopefully, with this service in place, USA citizens will have similar success rates as other countries that already use ELS.

"You don't need to install a separate app, update your OS, or have special hardware to benefit from more accurate location".

In the U.S., emergency tech firm RapidSOS provides ELS locations directly to emergency communications centers through its secure platform, which is integrated directly into existing software at emergency centers in the US. "With ELS and RapidSOS, we can actually take action in the emergency communications center to improve the safety of our citizens".

As for the privacy, Google stated that the generated locations of ELS are transmitted to emergency providers.

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