Helping our Partners provide faster, more accurate location for emergency services
Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) helps mobile network operators, emergency infrastructure providers, and governments provide more accurate location information to first responders during an emergency.
Everything you need to know about ELS and how to get started
What is ELS?
Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) is a supplemental service that sends location directly from Android handsets to emergency services when an emergency call is placed.
Why it works
ELS uses the same location technologies available to apps on an Android phone, including cell, GPS and WiFi signals, as well as other smartphone sensors, to quickly estimate an accurate emergency location, both indoors and outdoors.
When emergency services get a call, they need to know the caller’s location to send help and save lives. Today, over 70% of calls to emergency services come from mobile phones, but locating these mobile callers can be a major issue. Current emergency solutions rely on cell tower location (which can have a radius of up to several kilometers) or assisted GPS (which can fail indoors).
Accurate emergency location can be the difference between life and death. In fact, the US Federal Communications Commission estimates “an improved location accuracy which results in reducing wireless E911 response time by one minute can result in saving over 10,000 lives annually”.
To help address this issue, we created the Emergency Location Service in Android. This feature, when supported by your network, sends location from your phone to emergency services when you dial an emergency number. This uses the same location technologies available to apps on your phone, including Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell towers, to produce a more reliable emergency location both indoors and outdoors.
This feature is solely for the use of emergency service providers, and your precise location is never seen or handled by Google. It is sent from your handset to emergency services only when you explicitly place an emergency call, either directly or through your mobile network.
ELS is supported by over 99% of existing Android devices (version 4.0 and upwards) through Google Play Services. The service activates when supported by your mobile network operator or emergency infrastructure provider.
Our service is already live today and we continue to actively engage with countries and partners to make ELS more widely available. Please contact us if you’re interested in becoming an ELS partner.