False alarm: iPhone 14 calls law enforcement on rollercoasters through its Crash Detection feature

In a crash or not, it seems that iPhone is taking its duty seriously.
Deniz Yildiran
A rollercoaster
A rollercoaster

cofeeakai/iStock 

It seems that iPhone 14 is already doing more than it should.

According to an initial report by The Wall Street Journal, the device’s new Crash Detection feature calls 911 on rollercoasters as well as helping the owner notify authorities in case of a car crash.

In a couple of cases, law enforcement burst upon the scene after receiving audio messages through calls from iPhone 14 owners who had a blast at amusement parks.

Senior Personal Technology Columnist at The Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern, reported on an incident in Ohio on September 18, 2022. An iPhone 14 Pro owner got on a ride on the Mystic Timbers roller coaster at Kings Island amusement park. The next thing the law enforcement knew, they received a call from the feature saying:

"The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone. The emergency location is Latitude 39.3411, Longitude -84.2689, with an estimated search radius of 6 meters. This message will repeat in 5 seconds."

This wasn't all. According to the report, the same calls have been delivered on the ride for a few weeks.

"My time on the crash-detection beat has proven that the feature can absolutely save a life. There's already proof of it helping in real crashes. But there are situations where it works and it shouldn't + others where it doesn't work and it should. Such is the story of technology!" Joanna Stern wrote on Twitter.

What is Apple's new Crash Detection feature?

According to Apple's website, Crash Detection is meant to detect car crashes, including sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and other passenger cars. If a severe impact is detected, iPhone or Apple Watch displays an alert and a sounding alarm. Then the phone reads the alert and expects you to react if you can still reach out to your phone. If you don't respond, it triggers Emergency SOS.

The feature works on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models with the latest version of iOS.

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