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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.

emergency-sos-iphone-banner.jpeg

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.

Article Link: iPhones and Apple Watches Could Detect a Car Crash and Auto-Dial 911 Starting Next Year
 
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CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
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UK
Driving an old banger I may be wrong, but thought modern cars now have this built in?
Not that I am against this at all, just hoping that it doesn't result in a lot of false / duplicated calls to the call centres.
 

Canyda

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2020
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Driving an old banger I may be wrong, but thought modern cars now have this built in?
Not that I am against this at all, just hoping that it doesn't result in a lot of false / duplicated calls to the call centres.
I suspect it will and I suspect a lot of people will deactivate it as a result.

I think only cars with something like OnStar have this built in, and I believe it's a pay/subscription service. My wife's new Rav 4 came with that package for an extra cost, which we declined.
 

osx'r

Cancelled
Oct 24, 2007
69
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Perhaps a bit off topic, but how does the fall detection work for people skiing and taking a tumble on the hill?
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,644
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Perhaps a bit off topic, but how does the fall detection work for people skiing and taking a tumble on the hill?
I thought with Fall Detection it is if the person falls and does not get up in a short period of time. So, if you are hiking, skiing, whatever and fall but then get back up it wont alert anyone.

I think...I don't have an AppleWatch.
 
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twintin

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2012
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Alle cars sold in EU after 2020 already have this as mandatory onboard device. Something you hope you will never need. Something that could really save your life.
I guess it is a subscription service ? Also, as far as I can tell this seem to have been mandatory since 2018 (at least in Sweden).
 
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Caelestis94

macrumors newbie
Oct 20, 2021
3
4
Wait what? thats not already a feature? I had a big crash in my mercedes last winter and the cops got called like immediately. I always was under the impression that it was the watch or the phone that detected my crash. Must have been the car that placed the call for me.
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,644
1,102
Driving an old banger I may be wrong, but thought modern cars now have this built in?
Not that I am against this at all, just hoping that it doesn't result in a lot of false / duplicated calls to the call centres.
Call centers may already get multiple calls for the same accident. If you are in a multi-car accident and each driver/passenger calls and then you may have bystanders who witnessed the accident call. I believe if a person actually calls they will ask that person how many vehicles are involved, if anyone is seriously injured, etc. but having multiple triggers calling a call center, then they know to dispatch emergency services there, and at least alert 1-2 vehicles to responds before realizing if more are needed.
 
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BlendedFrog

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Dec 9, 2010
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GM calls it OnStar Guardian. Other car companies partner with SiriusXM but use the same technology. It's just called SiruisXM Guardian.

My new Jeep came with a free 5 year subscription to SXM Guardian. There's a lot of other features to it other than crash detection and auto-911 calling. Such as remote start, remote lock/unlock, remote gps, vehicle data reports, etc...
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2010
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"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."

Hmm... Is that supposed to make us true believers? Or, suggest good detection?

Note: "suspected". Plus, 50,000 calls vs. 10 million impact. That's 5 out of 1,000.

If Apple automatically calls 911 a whopping 9,950,000 times when it's not needed, then there will be anti-auto calling (no pun intended) legislation passed within no time. That looks like a huge amount of false positives.

Of course, there's much more to this than the data suggest... many impacts are fender-benders or low-speed bumps into poles or walls and don't need 911 calls, and many accidents need calls but don't get them right away.

Also wonder how many of the suspected impacts were outside of the car!

The system may well be far too sensitive. Of course, if it includes the 911 cancel feature that would take care of much of this -- if people remember to turn off the prompt!
 
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reyesmac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
769
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Central Texas
This is a great feature for an Apple Car to have. They probably are going to test it out on phones, get the data they need, then either remove it or offer it up as a pay service for anyone who doesn't own an Apple car.
 

HappySponge

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2018
90
376
So is Apple responsible for a false call? And this isnt picking on apple but all the companies that do something similar (i.e Onstar) and am just curious to how this gets handled. Making false 911 calls is illegal for an individual. So if Apple triggers 911 by mistake is the individual shielded from any potential fines/getting in trouble/etc?
 
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deckard666

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2007
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Falmouth
Its not that tricky as the watch / phone would verify with you before ringing the police etc. No response in say 5 seconds and its phones the emergency services - a lot of modern cars do this already and will put you on speaker phone so if you're conscious you can talk to them too....
 
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