Tech giant Apple is reportedly working towards a new feature for their iPhones and Apple watch that detects if a user is in a car crash and it automatically dials 911.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this life-saving feature of Apple could likely be released in 2022 as part of its iOS 16 and watchOS 9 update.
How does this feature work?
Apple would use a motion-sensor to detect whether the person using an iPhone or Apple Watch is involved in a car crash or an accident of any sort.
The crash detection feature will work by sensing any sudden spike in gravity, that arises on impact from a car accident. Apple has been testing this feature over the last year by collecting data anonymously from the existing users of iPhones and Apple Watches, the report stated.
Apple’s devices have already successfully detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts. Out of these, more than 50,000 cases included an auto-dial to 911 for emergency help.
While Apple’s accident detection hasn’t always worked as intended in the past, the company has had many years to collect data and analytics on willing iOS and watchOS users. It remains to be seen how accurately Apple will be able to detect car crashes.
The crash detection feature is similar to Apple Watch’s existing fall detection capability which was first added to its Watch Series 4. The feature works by detecting when a sudden fall occurs, and automatically calls emergency services if the victim doesn’t dismiss the alert within one minute of falling. Further, it notifies the person’s emergency contact with a text message if that information is filled out. The device also sends out a map of the watch’s location at the time of the fall.
This feature has been around for years on Google Pixel smartphones. Google uses the phone’s location, motion sensors, and nearby sounds to detect a possible car crash, and then calls emergency services.
It sends the approximate location along with the car crash data. Apple’s car crash detection feature sounds quite a bit like the one available on the Google Pixel but we’ll have to wait and see how promising it is when it officially launches.