large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple Watch and iPhone to get lifesaving new feature in 2022 – report

Apple is reportedly working on a “crash detection” feature for Apple Watch and iPhone, which would automatically detect if you’ve been in an accident and contact the emergency services.

A Wall Street Journal report says Apple has been testing the feature for a year thanks to data anonymously sent by users. That’s led to the detection of 10 million suspected vehicle incidents.

According to internal documents spied by the Wall Street Journal, 50,000 of those detected incidents led to 911 calls in the United States. The report says the feature uses the iPhone’s range of motion sensors to detect sudden changes in g-forces that could mean there’s been an impact.

The WSJ writes:

“Apple has been using the 911 call data to improve the accuracy of its crash-detection algorithm, since an emergency call associated with a suspected impact gives Apple more confidence that it is indeed a car crash, according to the documents.”


According to the report, Apple plans to roll out the feature in iOS 16 and watchOS 9 next year. Whether it’ll require newer hardware remains to be seen, but it seems Apple has at least had success testing it on current devices.

The feature sounds like an extension of the fall detection tools already available within the Apple Watch and available from Series 4 and up. On the wearable, if it detects a hard fall, users are presented with options like “Emergency SOS” and “I’m OK”

If the watch then detects you’re immobile for a minute, it’ll call the emergency services. If you have an Medical ID set up, the first responders will be able to access your details, if you’ve enabled Share During Emergency Call setting.

It’s possible the feature might be similar if Apple rolls out crash detection, although it’s not clear whether it’ll give you the option to skip the call to the emergency services if everyone’s fine.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.