iPhones and Apple Watches Could Detect a Car Crash and Auto-Dial 911 Starting Next Year
Apple is planning a new feature for the iPhone and Apple Watch that would enable the devices to detect if you are involved in a car crash and automatically dial 911 for emergency services, according to The Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler.
Apple plans to launch the "crash detection" feature in 2022, the report claims, citing company documents and people familiar with the matter.
The feature would use iPhone and Apple Watch sensors like the accelerometer to "detect car accidents as they occur" in part by measuring a sudden spike in gravitational force, more commonly known as g-force, on impact.
The report claims that Apple has been testing the feature in the past year by collecting data shared anonymously by iPhone and Apple Watch users, and the devices have apparently already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts. As with any feature in testing, the report cautions that Apple could choose not to release it.
From the report:
Apple products have already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts, of which more than 50,000 included a call to 911.
Apple has been using the 911 call data to improve the accuracy of its crash-detection algorithm, since an emergency call associated with a suspected impact gives Apple more confidence that it is indeed a car crash, according to the documents.
The feature sounds similar to Fall Detection on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer, which can detect if the wearer has experienced a hard fall and automatically call emergency services unless they indicate that they are okay.
Google already offers a car crash detection feature on some recent Pixel smartphone models.
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