Apple introduced a new feature with the iPhone 14 series of phones recently, called Crash Detection. It uses a combination of a bunch of sensor data from your iPhone to detect if you have been in a car crash, and then notify emergency services to fetch help. However, it seems like the feature is accidentally triggering a bunch of calls to 911 from rollercoaster rides.
In a new report from the wall street journal, Joanna Stern says the latest iPhone 14 and Apple Watches with Crash Detection are making 911 calls, with several calls being recorded since the phones started arriving to customers last month. Stern had recently tested Crash Detection herself.
Crash Detection having an identity crisis over roller coaster ride sensor readings
Since the iPhone 14 went on sale, the 911 dispatch center near Kings Island amusement park has received at least six phones calls saying: “The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash…”Except, the owner was just on a roller coaster.🆕 by me: https://t.co/hp1fHZBIf6 pic.twitter.com/i0lZPoWzGzOctober 9, 2022
Stern got recordings of six such calls from The Warren County Communications Center in Ohio. All of them were received after Apple started selling its new best iPhone series, the iPhone 14. All calls in this case were from folks that went on rollercoaster rides on Kings Island, a famous spot for those around Cincinnati, Ohio. Similar reports were also received in Six Flags Great America near Chicago.
Some of the call recordings were also posted, and you can hear the iPhone firing off the automated prompt telling emergency services the owner of the iPhone has been in a crash, and revealing the location coordinated, with the prompt repeating with gaps of five seconds. The call was from one Sara White, who was at Kings Island park with her family.
Apparently, a team was sent to check on Ms. White, and after failing to locate the family, the emergency responders received a call from her telling them she was fine. WSJ also says that dropping the iPhone while driving or right after also triggered Crash Detection for some people.
Apple spokesperson responded to the issues saying that the feature provides peace of mind and that Apple will be continuing to improve it over time. Of course, since accidental 911 calls are a big deal, we can expect improvements soon, but Apple hasn’t said anything concrete about the timeline. In the meantime, you might want to periodically check your new iPhone to ensure it’s not accidentally making an emergency call.