Apple’s Crash Detection Calls 911 From Roller Coasters, but What About Cars? The iPhone can handle technologically great operations, but one of the newer features could improve. With Apple’s fault detection, the new iPhone 14 and Apple Watch can sense a user’s time and automatically call 911. If the feature works as intended, it could save lives. However, critics questioned its practical applicability. For example, other situations, such as a roller coaster moving safely, led to 911 calls. But does fault detection work?
New iPhones mistook roller coaster stunts and car crashes
Apple’s fault detection should recognize the use of the accelerometer and gyro sensor inside an enabled iPhone or Apple Watch. As of this writing, the feature is only available on iPhone 14 and the latest Apple Watch. In theory, these devices could detect sudden changes in motion during a collision, leading to fault detection. After a short countdown, the iPhone or Apple Watch automatically calls 911 and gives the authorities the user’s location unless the user manually stops the iPhone from calling.
The iPhone 14 was recently called 911 because it detected an accident while its owner was riding a roller coaster. The ride speeds and sudden changes should simulate the feel of a crash enough to trigger the phone’s sensors. Since the user stored his iPhone on it while riding, he could not refuse to detect malfunctions before calling 911.
So does Apple’s crash detection work in actual car accidents?
The roller coaster incident highlights how Apple’s fault detection feature isn’t foolproof, but the real question is whether it can detect car crashes.
This fun and informative troubleshooting test was conducted with a demolition derby driver crashing into parked vehicles to simulate real world accidents. Test results were mixed. The iPhone and Apple Watch in the derby sometimes knew of an accident, but the iPhones failed to detect the effects.
However, there are also real cases of fault finding that help accident victims. The Wall Street Journal cites a car crash in Pennsylvania in which an iPhone 14 using Crash Detection alerted authorities before anyone else did. The accident was not fatal, and fault finding did not necessarily save any life. But this scenario shows how the feature can help.
A story involving a fatal accident in Nebraska and the revelation of the breakdown also made recent headlines. Reportedly, six passengers were in the car that crashed. No one witnessed the accident, but Crash Detection called 911. Only one passenger was alive when emergency crews arrived, but later died of his injuries. Although this incident is tragic, it shows what Apple Crash Detection can achieve. If the feature does not alert the authorities, it may have been more time before someone noticed the incident.
How do you turn off Apple Crash Detection?
The examples above highlight the various results of Crash Detection in the short time of advantage in the market. Although real-world scenarios have proven themselves capable of spotting them, others can get them wrong, and rollercoasters can fool them.
If an iPhone or Apple Watch user is concerned about their devices calling 911 outside of an emergency, they can turn off troubleshooting. Accordingly, the feature is turned on by default. To disable it, go to Settings and Emergency SOS. Then turn off troubleshooting.