Emergency services organizations around the world are requesting Apple’s cooperation in implementing a location feature which they say could save thousands of lives.
Advanced Mobile Location (AML) detects when your smartphone sends out an emergency call and activates the GPS and/or Wi-Fi (if not already activated), reads a new report from The Next Web. It then sends an automatic SMS message to emergency services with your location, then turns GPS off again, presumably to save battery life.
The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) reports that it has been trying to establish contact with Apple to work on a solution that automatically provides accurate location derived from iPhones to emergency services and rescuers. Unfortunately, Apple has reportedly been uncooperative.
“As AML is being deployed in more and more countries, iPhone users are put at a disadvantage compared to Android users in the scenario that matters most: An emergency,” says the organization. “EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers.”
When AML is activated in a device, it provides extremely accurate location data to first responders in a seamless fashion, as the process happens automatically. Operating systems that run AML detect when emergency calls are being made, and automatically turn on global satellite navigation and Wi-Fi. The device then sends an SMS to emergency services with the location data, allowing for results that are 4,000 times more accurate than current tracking systems.
“EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers,” the organization said. “It is important to highlight once again that AML is an open-source protocol … and any smartphone manufacturer or operating system provider can integrate it in their products.”
Google, on the other hand, has already implemented AML technology in all Android smartphones as of June 2016. According to the EENA’s data, that additional functionality is already saving lives across Europe and the world. As opposed to Apple, the organization praised Google’s “quick response” and implementation of the AML technology.