New South Wales will launch a pilot trial this week of the ‘robochall’ mobile technology that uses voice recognition to call out emergency services, with the state’s Premier saying the technology could be rolled out nationwide.
The technology was introduced in Victoria in the early 2000s but is still only used in remote areas.
In Sydney’s outer west, there are currently around 1,500 residents with emergency services on call but in remote, rural communities, the technology can be more useful.
“It’s not just about the ability to call the police, it’s about the emergency services,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“In rural communities it can be a very effective tool, but it’s also useful in rural areas to call for assistance, because if the emergency service are in trouble, that’s when you know that they’ve got the resources to get you out.”
The trial will be conducted in remote and rural communities and will involve the use of a “robocALL” system, which is similar to that used in other developed countries.
This system, or the robocALL app, uses voice command to communicate with emergency operators via text messages.
It is also used by the Australian Federal Police, which can respond to an emergency in one of the country’s most remote areas and is used to provide assistance to people in need.
The trial, which will start with two towns in western Sydney, will also include a town in eastern Sydney, where the use is expected to be more limited.
In addition to the trial in Sydney, NSW is planning to launch a trial in the Brisbane region, and in the north-west, a trial is planned in Tasmania.
The pilot is expected for mid-year.
“We know that a significant amount of people need to be called for assistance,” Ms Berejilian said of the robochall.
“There’s a huge need for people to have an emergency communication, especially in remote rural communities.”
In Victoria, the use and use of emergency services is not the only concern that people have about the technology.
“The fact that you can be calling your own emergency service is one of our greatest challenges,” Ms Brejilant said.
The state’s chief medical officer, Dr David Anderson, said the robocheck was not the first emergency response technology that was introduced and was not necessarily a substitute for the use the police had to provide, but added that it was an important one.
“I’m sure there’s other technologies that we can look at that are in place to help with emergency communication and it’s definitely something we’ll be looking at in the future,” he said.
Dr Anderson also said there were many reasons why people could have to call in emergency services.
“For instance, if a person is driving along in their car, they may not be able to see the police and they may be in a blind spot, so there’s a lot of factors that have to be considered when making that call,” he explained.
“So there’s an enormous amount of different things that have gone into developing this technology, and that’s a big thing.”
The ABC has asked Victoria’s Emergency Services Commissioner David O’Brien if he has concerns about the roboChall.
Mr O’Briens response was simple.
“You can have it, but you have to do it responsibly,” he told the ABC.
He also stressed that people would need to keep an eye on the “robochalls” privacy settings and “don’t be a nuisance”. “
But if you’re in a bush fire, you need to get there quickly and safely, so the police can be there.”
He also stressed that people would need to keep an eye on the “robochalls” privacy settings and “don’t be a nuisance”.
“It does require you to have that personalised privacy setting, but if it’s in good working order and you’re able to manage it and have the proper level of personalisation, it should be a pretty simple thing,” he added.