The new car accident detection function of the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch will automatically seek help from the emergency department when there is a danger of a car accident. While this feature has helped in some cases, there are some negative reviews. The Apple car crash detection feature has raised some false positives. These false positives increase the task of rescuers. Dwight Yochim, senior manager of the Search and Rescue Association of Columbia, Canada, said that they have received at least three false alarms. After the rescuers arrived at the scene, they found that no one was injured at all, so the organization contacted Apple. The company has now confirmed that the car crash detection function has been updated. However, at the moment, there is no real-life test of the update to see if it solves the problem.
Yochim said that when emergency rescue was received, they had to go out immediately because they didn’t know if anyone was really trapped. Everyone put down their work and even needed to send a helicopter, but it turned out that no one was injured. This takes up a lot of rescue resources. Yochim hopes that after the upgrade, the new version will greatly reduce such cases.
Some users have also reported that Apple’s car crash detection feature often sends false alarms. There are reports that during high-speed activities like in a park, or other high-speed flip sports, iPhone 14 series users often receive Apple’s car crash alarm reminders.
In this regard, Apple has launched a software update package to optimize the problem of car accident recognition. But from the current point of view, this optimization does not tackle the problem completely.
Apple car crash detection feature
Apple says its crash detection features rely on “advanced motion algorithms designed by Apple, trained on over a million hours of real-world driving and crash-recorded data”. The car crash detection feature utilizes sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes on a supported iPhone or Apple Watch.
If you are in a car crash and unresponsive, this feature will automatically contact emergency services.
- Motion Sensor: All devices have a three-axis gyroscope and high-gravity accelerometer that can sample motion more than 3000 times per second. This means the device can detect the precise moment of impact, as well as any changes in the vehicle’s motion or trajectory.
- Microphone: The microphone is used to detect loud sound levels that could herald a crash. Apple says the microphone will only turn on when driving is detected, and no actual sound will be recorded.
- Barometer: If the airbag deploys with the windows closed, the barometer can detect changes in air pressure.
- GPS: The readings can detect speed before a crash and any sudden lack of movement.
- CarPlay and Bluetooth: When active, they give the algorithm another signal that the phone is in the car and start to pay attention to possible accidents.
Car crash detection takes 20 seconds to contact emergency services
When a severe car crash is detected, the feature will interact with your Apple Watch if you are wearing one. If you do not have an Apple Watch but own any of the compatible iPhones, it will interact with your iPhone. Then, an alert will appear on your device screen for ten seconds. If you are still responsive after the crash, with a single tap, you can call emergency services immediately. However, if you do not need to contact emergency services, you can with a slide, dismiss the alert. Nevertheless, if you remain unresponsive and didn’t make any choice after 10 seconds, the device will commence a 10 seconds count down. After the countdown ends, emergency services will be automatically contacted. This means that after a crash is detected, the automatic emergency call is sent out after 20 seconds.
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After the call is sent out, an audio message will play on a loop with five seconds of silence. The audio message will say “the owner of this iPhone was in a car crash and is not responding to the phone”. It will also relay your estimated location with latitude and longitude as well as with search radius. This information will be sent to emergency services. The information will also play through the device speaker. After the first message plays, subsequent loop messages will have lower volumes. This will allow you to speak to emergency services if you need to. This message will continue to repeat until you tap the screen or the call ends.
Apple says the iPhone 14 satellite emergency rescue function will expand to more countries and regions next year
In a press release issued earlier this week, Apple said that the satellite emergency help function in iPhone 14 models will be available to more countries and regions next year. It’s just that Apple didn’t clarify its expansion plan for next year in the press release.
The satellite emergency assistance feature was first launched in the United States and Canada in November of this year. It requires an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, or iPhone 14 Pro Max running iOS 16.1 or later. The service was made available to iPhone 14 owners in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK earlier this week. Some local emergency service numbers require iOS 16.2. The service will be free for two years.
An official report from Apple gives the numbers to call for this feature
- In the US and Canada, please call or text 911.
- In France, please call or text 112, 15, 17, 18, 114, 119, 191 and 196.
- In Germany please text 112 and 110.
- In Ireland and the UK, call or text 999 or 112.
Also, note that users will need iOS 16.2 when calling or texting 15, 17, 18, 114, 119, 191 and 196 in France, 110 in Germany and 999 in Ireland. If you try and the service is not available, then the issue is from the carrier, not Apple.
The feature allows iPhone 14 models to connect to Globalstar satellites. It allows users to send text messages to emergency services outside of cell phone and Wi-Fi coverage. Apple says, sending a text message via satellite can take up to 15 seconds. Satellite networks may also not work in places above latitude 62°, Apple said. An example of such places is Alaska and the northern parts of Canada.