The next time an agent in your Public Safety Answering Point hears a robotic voice when he or she answers the phone, they shouldn’t hang up, thinking it’s a robocall – it could actually be a matter of life and death.
According to a recent news release from the National Emergency Number Association, certain vehicles in the latest line of cars from Chrysler Group LLC will now come equipped with a built-in-data connection, as well as a 911 button on the rear-view mirror. The cars with this new technology are as follows:
- 2013 -2014 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 Trucks
- 2013-2014 SRT Viper
- 2014 SRT Grand Cherokee
- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2014 Cherokee
- 2014 Dodge Durango
NENA explains, “This service does not rely on a paired Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. Rather, Chrysler Group vehicles which have this feature utilize an embedded wireless connection which does not require the use of a third party call center. This service makes a 9-1-1 call through the cellular network and E9-1-1 to the appropriate PSAP on 9-1-1 trunks. It is not a 10 digit emergency call.”
Of course, this system, called Uconnect, can’t function unless the car’s electrical system is still working. If it is still functional, here is what happens when the driver pushes the 911 button:
1. The vehicle is connected to the appropriate PSAP through the local 911 system.
2. The PSAP operator answering the call from that driver will hear an incoming Text to Speech message that says, “This is an emergency call from a (Ram/SRT/Jeep/Dodge) vehicle.”
3. Then the voice will prompt the operator to push either 0, to talk with vehicle occupants, or 1, to secure the location coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the vehicle.
4. The PSAP operator will also receive the vehicle’s phone number, in case a call-back is needed.
5. If, however, the PSAP does not push 0 or 1, or can’t use the keypad, then the robotic announcement will be repeated once. Then, the system will automatically connect for voice with the driver.
If the 911 button is pushed accidentally, the driver does have a ten-second window in which to cancel the call by touching a Cancel button on the car’s touchscreen.
It is extremely important for PSAPs to be aware of this new technology, and how it works. The Uconnect system was recently taken live, and several PSAPs have already reported receiving these calls and thinking they were robocalls. Be sure to inform and train your PSAP agents about what to expect from this new system.
And while we’re on the subject of improving your PSAP’s performance, you may want to take a look at KOVA’s offerings in that area, as well. Our Verint Media Recorder Public Safety Software includes multichannel recording, performance management, quality assurance, speech analytics, incident investigation and analytics, workload forecasting and staff scheduling, staff coaching and training, and citizen surveys. For more information about how we can improve the performance of your emergency communications center, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We look forward to customizing a plan to serve your unique needs.
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