iPhone 14 Reportedly Dialing 911 on Roller Coasters

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The iPhone 14’s new Crash Detection feature, which is intended to automatically alert emergency personnel when it detects it’s been in a car accident, is reportedly experiencing its own accident on roller coasters by unintentionally dialing 911.

The feature, introduced at Apple’s Far Out event in September, uses an axis gyroscope and high G-force accelerometer to detect four main types of crashes: front, side, rear-end and rollover crashes. 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.

That feature seems to have created a bit of a 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 September, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Similar alerts have been received from passengers on a roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago.

The feature’s machine learning takes information collected by the sensors, as well as others like the watch’s GPS and microphone to determine there’s been a crash. It was trained on more than 1 billion hours of driving and crash data. But the feature is intended to operate only while its wearer is driving and all the data is processed on the device, Apple said.

However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid roller coasters if you have the new iPhone or the Apple Watch 8, which is also equipped with the feature. You can avoid the accidental calls by putting the device on Airplane mode or just disabling it.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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Steven Musil

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