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Chrysler UConnect & 9-1-1: Additional Information & FAQ

Friday, October 11, 2013   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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As a follow up to NENA’s recent bulletin regarding the Chrysler Uconnect product, the following information is being provided in response to questions from numerous NENA members and public safety partners. These bulletins do not represent an NENA endorsement of the Chrysler product. NENA’s only intent in distributing this information is in ensuring that our membership, and public safety in general, have as much information as possible regarding a new service which will impact PSAP operations and personnel.

This is a human-initiated 9-1-1 call, and uses a cellular number assigned to the vehicle. It will provide the normal wireless ALI data, including Phase II location (if implemented for the PSAP), if the Telecommunicator or the PSAP equipment rebids for the caller location. The ALI data will not have any special content that identifies the call as a Uconnect call. It is important to note that this is not a telematics service.

The Uconnect supported, human initiated 9-1-1 call acts as a normal wireless E9-1-1 call, but with certain additional vehicle based characteristics and options.

Answers to the most frequently asked public safety questions are included below to clarify and provide additional information to the public safety community.

Question: If a call from a vehicle is routed via the cellular network, will it be delivered with WPH1/WPH2 class of service? Are there any differences that should be noted as compared to how traditional wireless 9-1-1 calls display on a PSAP ALI screen?

Answer: The call is routed via a traditional cellular network and should be delivered to the PSAP as a wireless call. It should display on the ANI/ALI screen as would any other wireless call and should include a WPH1/WPH2 class of service.

Question: Does Chrysler offer any training or training materials to the PSAP’s on this service?

Answer: At present, Chrysler does not have any training materials for public safety. NENA has been encouraging Chrysler to develop training materials and information for both public safety and their customers.

Question: Calls delivered as WPH1 typically include a lat/long that represents the coordinates of the cell tower or cell sector centroid. What does the lat/long displayed on the WPH1 ALI screen represent?

Answer: The same information as any other cellular call. The lat/long displayed will represent WPH1 data. It should be noted that, as with other wireless calls, in order for the PSAP to receive Phase II data, it is necessary to utilize the rebid function.

Question: If a recorded message is used to relay lat/long information, how does that compare to the lat/long on the ALI screen?

Answer: The audible computer-generated lat/long information is provided by the vehicle’s GPS module and supplements the Phase I & II wireless data provided by the wireless carrier and displayed on the ANI/ALI screen.

Question: When calls are delivered as, or rebid to WPH2 what does the lat/long represent?

Answer: If the rebid is accomplished via the PSAP equipment, it should represent the same data as would any other cellular call which would be wireless phase II (WPH2) data. As stated in response to question No. 4 above, the audible, computer-generated lat/long information is provided by the vehicle’s GPS module and is meant to supplement the Phase I & II wireless data provided by the wireless carrier.

Question: How does a cancellation process work for an emergency call generated from a vehicle? For example, is the occupant made aware at the time of a button press that a 9-1-1 call is going to be made? How is the user able to cancel without creating a potential abandoned/hang-up call at the PSAP?

Answer: Once the Uconnect 9-1-1 button is actuated, a 10-second timer begins to count down before a 9-1-1 call is initiated. This allows occupants to prevent a 9-1-1 call from being initiated if the button was inadvertently pushed. That is, a vehicle occupant can "cancel” a Uconnect 9-1-1 call within the first 10 seconds of pushing the 9-1-1 button. If cancelled within this 10 second timeframe, no call has been initiated to 9-1-1, therefore there should be no abandoned call or 9-1-1 hang up received at the PSAP. After the 10- second timer has expired, the call cannot be canceled nor can the vehicle occupant disconnect the 9-1-1 call. The occupant is aware that a 9-1-1 call is going to be initiated because there is a visual indication and "cancel” button on the vehicle’s Uconnect screen, along with an audible indication over the vehicle speakers.

Question: How long do the real-time computer-generated voice messages last?

Answer: The initial message, which informs the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator that there is an emergency call from a Chrysler Group vehicle, takes approximately 7 seconds and says, "Emergency call from a <Brand> vehicle. At any time Press ‘1’ for location information. Press 0 to speak with the vehicle occupants.” The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator can choose to press ‘0’ to interrupt the real-time computer-generated message to speak to the vehicle occupants at any time. However, if the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator continues to listen to the message, including the GPS coordinates, it will last approximately an additional 18 seconds and says, ""Emergency call from a <Brand> vehicle. Latitude <latitude with 5 decimal point accuracy>, Longitude <longitude with 5 decimal point accuracy>. At any time press ‘1’ for location information. Press ‘0’ to speak with the vehicle occupants.”

Question: Will vehicle location information be played for a PSAP Telecommunicator if they do not request it?

Answer: The GPS coordinates play automatically one time if the PSAP Telecommunicator does not press "0” to interrupt them. The Telecommunicator may interrupt the computer- generated voice GPS coordinates by selecting "0”. The Telecommunicator may initiate a new request for the GPS coordinates by selecting "1”.

Question: What preventative measures are taken to avoid false calls when vehicle systems generate a call to 9-1-1? Could the 9-1-1 button easily be depressed in error? Are there timers in effect that requires a button to be depressed for more than just a rapid "touch”?

Answer: Chrysler has advised that the preventative measure in place is the 10 second delay feature. There is no timer requiring the button to be depressed for any amount of time, therefore a single "rapid touch” will initiate the 10 second timer before placing a 9-1-1 call.

Question: How is a valid user identified by the vehicle system? Does the ability to use the 9-1-1 button extend for the life of the vehicle? Do embedded phones need to adhere to current FCC NSI rules?

Answer: The embedded phone in the vehicle is a provisioned device on the wireless carriers’ network. At the time of sale, the vehicle’s new owner has the opportunity to "register” for the service. This will provide the new owner with free trial of voice and data services for either 6 or 12 months. For the duration of the trial, all of the 9-1-1 functions will be included. After the trial ends, the customer may then "subscribe” to a paid service. If they opt to do so, the additional 9-1-1 services continue for the duration of their subscription. If the customer decides not to subscribe, they remain a registered user and while other voice and data services cease, the 9-1-1 service will continue. The 9-1-1 button services, including the voice and location components, will continue to function as long as the customer remains registered. After 5 years, if the customer is not a paying subscriber, the data services may be de-provisioned and the embedded phone will then become an NSI phone. The same rules that apply to other NSI phones will still apply to these phones and Chrysler has advised that the embedded phone is compliant with FCC rules. Keep in mind that NSI phones do not enable the PSAP to call the phone back, and may not include location data.

Question: With regard to a customer "registering” for this service (versus the paid subscription), what happens if the owner never registers for the `trial’.   Would the call be treated as NSI and would no 9-1-1 fees be paid under that condition? 

Answer: Chrysler Group vehicles equipped with Uconnect are provisioned with an active MDN (Mobile Directory Number) during the vehicle production process.  Regardless of whether an owner registers for Uconnect Access, the MDN remains active for at least the duration of the 6 or 12 month trial period (trial length depends upon how the vehicle is equipped).  Chrysler Group and Sprint continue to evaluate when it will be appropriate to deprovision the MDN from the vehicle, in which case a 9-1-1 call placed from the vehicle will likely appear to a PSAP as a 9-1-1 call placed from a wireless NSI device.

While a vehicle is provisioned with an active MDN, related fees will be processed and paid in the typical manner.

Question: Since, unlike telematics, these calls route directly to 9-1-1, are surcharge fees paid and if not why?

Answer: Chrysler has advised that the 9-1-1 fee is initially based on the location where the vehicle is purchased. The fee is remitted for 6 or 12 months, depending on the length of the free trial. The fee is paid monthly by Sprint along with their other fees to the appropriate jurisdiction. After that, when the customer "subscribes” to the paid service, the 9-1-1 fee is based on the customer’s address and will again be paid by Sprint. If the customer does not subscribe, but they have registered as a user, there is no 9-1-1 fee being paid. They will still have access to the 9-1-1 service and the system will still deliver the initial real-time computer generated voice message. This access will continue until the data services are de-provisioned, at which time the embedded phone system will function as a Non-Service Initialized (NSI) phone.

Question: The notification comes in by text-to-speech, so does it hit our TTY with that? Or do we need some special equipment to receive it?

Answer: This is not "text-to-speech” and does not utilize TTY. Chrysler has clarified that this 9-1-1 Call uses a computer-generated real-time audible message, but is routed to the PSAP as a typical wireless call. No special equipment is required at the PSAP. The computer generated voice message will play on initial answer, and the cellular call data will be displayed on the ANI/ALI screen.

Question: Can we do a call trace on the vehicle, shut the vehicle down, or place a call to the vehicle in the case of an accidental call or if I need to contact the driver back?

Answer: Call trace is available as with any other cellular phone, and there is the ability to "locate” the vehicle based on the GPS data. However, this is NOT a Telematics service. Therefore, advanced telematics features like crash notification, vehicle telemetry/data, and remote lock/unlock or shut down are not available. If a call is initiated through the vehicle, the PSAP is able to call the number back for 24 hours after the call was placed to 9-1-1.

Question: If the dispatcher pushes "0” to talk to the occupant of the car and gets no response from the occupant, can "1” then be pushed to get the address or is it one or the other?

Answer: Both options ("1” or "0”) remain available to the Telecommunicator regardless of which option they select first. If the Telecommunicator selects "1”, they can then select "0” for voice and vice-versa. HOWEVER, if they select "0” for voice, then need to select "1” to obtain audible location information, there will be a temporary interrupt in the voice link while the GPS information is read back. This means that the Telecommunicator will not be able to hear the occupant of the vehicle and the occupant will not be able to hear the Telecommunicator until the location is read out, then the voice link is restored. Utilizing Option "1” for coordinates is not required as part of the 9-1-1 call, but provides GPS coordinates of the vehicle to the Telecommunicator if necessary. In areas where wireless Phase II is not implemented, the GPS coordinates can provide the PSAP with location information.

Question: I thought doing a pre-recorded message to 9-1-1 was illegal?

Answer: This is not an automatic pre-recorded message. The call is human initiated via the 9-1-1 button in the vehicle. The audible message received by the PSAP upon initially answering the call is a computer generated, real time voice message that identifies the call as coming from a Uconnect equipped vehicle.

Question: If the owner syncs up their mobile phone (Bluetooth) would that be the number that is used to call 9-1-1 or would it still be the embedded car phone?

Answer: If the owner syncs their mobile phone to the Bluetooth system, then uses their mobile phone to make a 9-1-1 call, the data presented to the PSAP will be for the mobile phone. If the owner syncs their mobile phone, but then uses the 9-1-1 button on the rear view mirror, the call will be generated as a Uconnect 9-1-1 wireless call. As described above, a Uconnect call will be processed as a wireless 9-1-1 call, through E9-1-1 and to the PSAP. In this case, the Bluetooth connection will be ignored.

Question: Why does the dispatcher have to hit an option to get the coordinates of the car? Shouldn’t that be delivered as ALI data?

Answer: They do not have to select an option to get ANI/ALI data; it will be presented with the call. The selectable options apply to a voice connection, or an audible report of the vehicles GPS data.

Question: Any idea what the embedded cell phone numbers look like? Is there going be something about them that we would recognize as being unique to Uconnect?

Answer: The call will present like a normal wireless call. There will be nothing to distinguish this call from any other cellular call in the ANI/ALI screen. The audible message at the beginning of the call, received on initial answer, will be the only way to distinguish the call as Chrysler Uconnect based.

Question: Are the Option 1 coordinates passed through the 9-1-1 system and arrive at the PSAP within the ALI record?

Answer: No. The ALI record contains the WPH1/WPH2 data as would any other wireless call.

Question: Are the Option 1 coordinates given to the call taker verbally through a computer generated voice?

Answer: Yes. The Option 1 coordinates represent the GPS location information from the vehicle and are verbally transmitted, via computer generated voice, as digital X-Y coordinates.

Question: Which Chrysler vehicles have Uconnect and where will it work?

Answer: Uconnect is available on properly equipped Chrysler Group vehicles purchased within the continental United States and Alaska. (See list below). The system is designed to work wherever wireless 9-1-1 service is available within the Continental United States and Alaska. Hawaii will be added to the footprint at some point in the future.

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

If you have any additional questions, please contact Chrysler at Uconnect911@chrysler.com.

Comments...

Jim Jones says...
Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013
After seeing the initial announcement of this new service I called our local Chrysler dealer and had them make a test call from one of their vehicles. I used the recording of this audio for training my staff. I would recommend other PSAPs do this as well. If you need a recording example I would be happy to share mine. Contact me at jjones@tri-com911.org

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