Roller coaster rides mistakenly triggering iPhone Crash Detection feature
Apple announced Crash Detection — a new feature on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Watch Series 8, second-generation Apple Watch SE and new Apple Watch Ultra — last month, which uses an algorithm paired with new sensors that detect when a user has been involved in a serious crash, and automatically calls the emergency services.
With the new devices now available around the world, it has become apparent that roller coaster rides are mistakenly being detected as collisions by the recently released hardware, with a report by the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern and Coaster101 highlighting how users are seeing their devices automatically calling the emergency services to report a serious collision, with at least one coaster park now displaying a sign to visitors asking them to turn off their Apple devices to avoid the accidental trigger of the SOS feature.
Apple touts that Crash Detection uses a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, enabling the hardware to detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone.
Within the report, Stern shared a 911 call recording made using the automatic calling feature.
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.
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) October 9, 2022
Apple said to the Wall Street Journal that Crash Detection is “‘extremely accurate in detecting severe crashes’ and that the company optimized it for getting users help while minimizing false positives.”
Apple has said it is committed to improving the accuracy of the feature over time.