News Flash

Town of Braintree News

Posted on: August 8, 2019

The Town of Braintree Now Accepts Wireless Location Information from Uber Users

Uber Logo with Town of Braintree Seal

Braintree, MA – Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan announced today that the Town of Braintree, through an agreement with Uber, will now accept precise, device-based location information from Uber users calling the Town’s 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

As a result of an existing partnership with Rave Mobile Safety for Smart911, Braintree Police Department 9-1-1 professionals will now receive more precise location information from 9-1-1 callers. By leveraging this innovative technology, the 9-1-1 call-taking process will be significantly enhanced with location information about the caller delivered via the Uber application, especially when combined with the additional information citizens already share via their Smart911 Safety Profiles. These location updates will serve as supplemental data to further improve responding officers’ situational awareness, help achieve a more accurate description alongside the existing location information and ultimately deliver a faster, more effective response.

In addition to this enhancement to 9-1-1 call processing, the Town of Braintree will be one of the first in the Commonwealth to receive accurate caller location and additional emergency data from Uber passengers initiating a call to 9-1-1 via the Uber app’s “9-1-1 Assistance” feature. Previously, 9-1-1 call takers had to rely on often outdated location information, which could be anywhere from 10-500+ meters off costing precious time during critical emergency situations. 

 The additional data provided to Braintree 9-1-1 call takers includes:

  • Personal information: The caller's name and phone number
  • Vehicle information: License plate, make, model and color of the car the caller is in

  “As the gateway to the South Shore, the Town of Braintree is proud to offer additional safety measures for all of our residents and visitors,” said Sullivan. “When seconds count, the ability for our public safety teams to receive more precise and timely data is critical to their success.”

Understandably, 9-1-1 call takers frequently receive incomplete or inaccurate location descriptions from callers during an emergency. Public safety answering points (PSAPs) have had to traditionally rely on network-based location information to locate wireless callers. Applications like Uber, on the other hand, locate users with a device-based approach that relies on multiple sources of information available on a device (GPS, WiFi access points, etc). Corroborating location information across multiple sources increases accuracy, especially in environments where a single source may be compromised. While using the Uber app, this information is available immediately on the device, so that the location will be available to 9-1-1 even before the call is received.

As a Smart 911 connected Town, all Braintree residents are encouraged to visit www.braintreema.gov/alerts or download the Smart911 App on the Apple Store or Google Play. Residents can then complete a FREE online user profile with details such as family photos, medical information and emergency contacts. The information contained within your profile will automatically appear on Braintree Police Department 9-1-1 terminals if and when you dial 9-1-1. 

For more about Rave Mobile Safety, please visit: https://www.ravemobilesafety.com/ 

 For more about Uber, please visit: https://www.uber.com/ 

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Press Release Statement 08-08-19 (PDF)

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