Published in Mobiles

iPhone 14 calls 911 during roller-coaster ride

by on10 October 2022

It got a bit scared

The iPhone 14 might need to man up a bit.  Apple's latest phone apparently panics on roller coaster rides and dials 911 for help.

The iPhone 14's new Crash Detection feature, which is intended to automatically alert emergency personnel when it calculates that it's been in a car accident, is reportedly dialing 911 when users ride roller coasters.  This is a huge pain for users who want to send a selfie to their mums when they are on the ride only to find the police, ambulance, and fire service waiting for them when they get off.

The feature, introduced at Apple's product event in early September, uses an axis gyroscope and high G-force accelerometer to detect four main types of crashes: front, side, rear-end, and rollover crashes. Apparently, no-one thought to test it in conditions where those circumstances might be a sign of a good time rather than the user being in trouble.

If the sensors detect an impact, the feature will automatically connect the person wearing it to emergency services. If the wearer doesn't dismiss the call within 20 seconds, an audio message informs emergency services of the crash and provides its location. 

There is a similar feature on the Apple Watch but that does not create the same problem because the software team on the watch designed it only to operate only when someone is in or on a vehicle.  It has a microphone which checks to see if there is the sound of a crash before it starts to do something dumb like calling the cops. Apparently, the Apple Watch team does not talk to the iPhone team.

The Tame Apple Press claims the feature is still wonderful, but it is causing a major headache for emergency personnel near Cincinnati's Kings Island amusement park who have received six iPhone crash-detection calls since the iPhone 14 went on sale in mid-September. Similar alerts have been received from passengers on a roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago.


Last modified on 10 October 2022
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