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The availability of more accurate location fixes for 911 calls, which include the Z axis is expected to increase significantly thanks to recent action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On November 22, 2019, the FCC adopted rules requiring wireless carriers to deliver 9-1-1 calls with a Z-axis metric that is accurate within three meters (or approximately 10 feet) for 80% of the indoor (wireless) 9-1-1 calls.
Our industry continually evolves, creating new technical and operational opportunities, as well as challenges. We are looking forward to serving our industry and our clients in 2020 by continuing to provide innovative and cost effective solutions, operations and technology consulting, and systems integration services.
As the 5G networks continue to roll out, public safety will find many opportunities to take advantage of 5G’s capabilities in the next 2-3 years. As public safety increases its use of drones, body worn cameras, artificial intelligence, and other forms of Big Data, these new technologies, ranging from drones to connected ambulances, could help emergency workers deal with fires, hurricanes, bombings, active shootings and medical emergencies.
Unmanned Aerial Systems are being piloted in a number of public safety environments and its features are being enhanced on a constant basis. For example, two Artificial Intelligence technologies that are being utilized to augment the effectiveness of drones include Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) These tools allow for the addition of vital information such as street names, and the ability to track people and vehicles from the air.
The National Emergency Number Association (NENA), estimates there are about 240 million 911 calls made in the US each year. These emergency calls are answered by exceptional people who can calmly, rationally, and with compassion, aid people in their time of need. AI offers solutions that could make those invaluable human response times faster as well as more informed, and result in more people receiving help.
New Technology was certainly another hot topic this year. Many new technologies and enhancements that have the promise of great things for Public Safety were announced at APCO 2019. Many of the attendees saw the benefits of these new capabilities and are excited to be able to implement them as they see how they can assist them in meeting today’s challenges. However, as a group they commonly expressed several obstacles in the implementation of new technology – Funding and Staffing.