What is Google's “Emergency Location Information Service” that can pinpoint the location of smartphones in the event of a distress?
Location information is one of the most important information when you encounter a serious accident and call emergency services. With the advent of mobile phones, it has become possible to make emergency calls anytime and anywhere as long as radio waves are received. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the location of the mobile phone, and errors of up to 10km may occur. Therefore, Google offers an emergency location information service (ELS) that dramatically improves the location accuracy of Android smartphones only in an emergency .
EENA emergency location technology-Google
How it works | Android Emergency Location Service | Google
Maria Garcia Pujol, engineer in charge of Google Maps' location information service, notices that state-of-the-art location technology used for dispatch services and food delivery services is not used for emergency services That was. Therefore, a project was launched to improve the accuracy of location information during emergencies.
Mr. Pujol collaborated with the European Emergency Liaison Association (EENA), which had been complaining that 'the accuracy of location information in an emergency need to be improved' for more than 10 years. Working with various rescue and relief organizations across Europe, we worked to develop a service that can identify location information with high accuracy.
ELS was developed there. ELS is one of the functions built into Android 4.0 and later as part of the OS, so there is no need to install a separate application and it is active only when you call an emergency service.
The following image shows the search range when ELS is used on the left and when ELS is not used on the right. Before using ELS, it was only possible to infer from the nearest base station information, and an error exceeding 10 km could occur depending on the location. However, using ELS, it is possible to specify the position with a high accuracy of several m to several tens of errors.
Location information by ELS is calculated locally in the smartphone by Fused Location Provider (FLP), which can acquire the location in the optimal way by combining GPS, Wi-Fi and various sensors, and via Data SMS in AML format, Or it is sent via HTTPS protocol in Google proprietary format. By receiving this location information by the recipient of the emergency call, the rescuer can grasp the location of the distressed side that reported.
It was in January 2017 that ELS first achieved results. A man who lives in Lithuania has a seizure and collapses, and his son who is present panics, but he reports to the emergency service on the man's smartphone. The son, who was only seven years old, still could not say his home address, and even using the information from the nearest base station, it was limited to narrowing down to a radius of 14 km.
However, because Lithuania was an ELS compatible area, it succeeded in identifying the position of the man based on the position information sent from the man's smartphone. The man was immediately transported to a nearby hospital. In Europe, 70% to 80% of emergency calls come from smartphones, and ELS is expected to save lives quickly.
Mr. Pujol said, “Our goal is to stay within the time limit that separates life and death. 'The most rewarding part of this job is to help you, if you can help whatever the distress is in, I will go to help.'
In Japan, the acquisition of location information in an emergency has been studied since around 2007, and many local governments have introduced an emergency location notification that sends GPS information as an emergency call .
Acquisition and provision of location information based on requests from rescue organizations during emergencies, etc. ｜ Topics ｜ Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA)