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iPhone 14 Crash Detection is enduring a roller coaster start

The new Crash Detection feature for iPhone 14 and Apple Watch 8, SE 2 and Ultra is designed to determine when users may have been in a car accident, but it’s apparently working overtime.

The feature is being triggered when iPhone 14 and new Apple Watch owners are riding on roller coasters at theme parks in the United States, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Because users aren’t dismissing the notifications – probably due to having a whale of a time on Nemesis or something – the emergency services have automatically been contacted.

The WSJ says that’s been documented at least six times in the few weeks the phone has been available. In some cases, the owners’ specified emergency contact has also been alerted too. Can you imagine receiving that alert as the specified contact of an iPhone owner?

As a result of the phenomenon, Apple has gone into a little more detail on how Crash Detection works. Essentially, it’s possible due to a new gyroscope and accelerometer within the new Apple Watch and iPhone models. The tech can detect 256Gs of force.

However, in an interview with TechCrunch, Apple’s VP of sensing & connectivity, Ron Huang said there was “no silver bullet” in terms of activating the feature.

“There’s no silver bullet, in terms of activating crash detection,” he said. “It’s hard to say how many of these things have to trigger, because it’s not a straight equation. Depending how fast the traveling speed was earlier, determines what signals we have to see later on, as well. Your speed change, combined with the impact force, combined with the pressure change, combined with the sound level, it’s all a pretty dynamic algorithm.”

Apple also uses features like Bluetooth connectivity and CarPlay connectivity to determine you’re in the car. It also listens for road and engine noises, and whether your device is quickly cycling through lots of different available Wi-Fi networks because of the speed of travel.

As for why it’s misfiring? Well that’s still not very clear, but we imagine it’ll get better over time. Just try not to scare the living daylights out of your loved ones by wearing the watch, or pocketing the phone on a rollercoaster, eh?

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