Emergency services continue to complain about false crash detections on iPhone 14: how Apple has responded
Emergency dispatchers continue to complain about the Crash Detection feature on Apple smartphones and smart watches, which often causes false rescue calls.
The feature was launched last year for all iPhone 14 models and the latest Apple Watch models, including the Series 8, Ultra and SE second generation. Using various sensors, including an accelerometer and gyroscope, the gadgets are able to detect a collision, i.e. a car crash. The user has 10 seconds to react, after which the device beeps and vibrates strongly for another 10 seconds. If the owner of the gadget never cancels the call, the smartphone or watch automatically summons rescue personnel and transmits the coordinates to them.
However, the devices often make false accident detections and rescue calls when the wearer is skiing or snowboarding. The user himself often cannot hear the signals because he is wearing thick clothing and a hat or helmet on his head.
For example, in Summit County, Colorado, where several ski resorts are located, emergency services received 185 such calls during the week of January 13 to 22. Both dispatchers and police officers complain that they waste their time and energy on false calls, making them unable to perform their duties effectively.
Apple has responded to these complaints. According to a spokesperson, the company is aware that in some specific scenarios, these features have called emergency services when the user has not been involved in a serious car accident or a major fall. The spokesperson noted that Apple optimised crash detection with iOS 16.1.2 and watchOS 9.2 last year to reduce the number of false calls, and said the feature had already helped save several lives. Apple has also sent four representatives to the Summit County call centre to monitor dispatchers throughout the day.
Source: The New York Times, Macrumors