The feature, which will only be available to those in the United States and will not hook into global emergency services, will be powered by RapidSOS's IP-based system and will securely provide call centers with Hybridized Emergency Location Data by pulling data based on proximity to WiFi access points and cell towers.
Apple says the location data can not be shared if 911 has not been called, and that RapidSOS' data will be separate from that held by cellphone carriers.
"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection".
In 2015, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which would estimate a caller's location using Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi Access points.
The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it hard to obtain a mobile caller's location quickly and accurately, Apple says.
"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", said Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989.
911 operators now have access to location data shared by mobile phone companies, but it tends not to be very precise.
Apple stressed that the data could only be used for emergency purposes and the 911 center's access to user locations will be restricted to the duration of 911 calls. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States". The company expects this to increase to a majority of centers by the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is a new feature in iOS 12, which is coming later this fall.
Some centers already have the compatible software, according to Apple, but others will have to install upgrades to their existing software.
The FCC requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today, even in challenging dense-urban environments.