Roller coaster rides trigger iPhone 14, Apple Watch crash detection feature, makes emergency calls

Report says Ohio Police received at least six iPhone crash-detection calls from people at Kings Island rides

AP file photo for illustrative purpose
AP file photo for illustrative purpose

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 11 Oct 2022, 1:17 AM

The police in Ohio, US, started receiving more crash detection calls since September, most of them from Kings Island, an amusement park outside Cincinnati. The reason — new crash detection feature in iPhone 14 and Apple Watch.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, at least six iPhone crash-detection calls were received by the police from people at Kings Island rides.

Apple's new crash detection feature is supposed to detect severe vehicle crashes, and help users reach emergency services.

However, the report says roller coaster rides triggered the system in many cases and alerted the police and in some cases, contacts of the customers. It cited an instance when a dentist took her iPhone 14 along with her during a ride at Kings Island. Once the ride was over, she saw missed calls on her phone from emergency services, which received call from her phone. The nearly two-minute call repeated a voice message seven times: “The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone.” The call also picked up the noise of screaming of the roller coaster riders in the background.

Apple’s crash detection uses a combination of sensor data to assess a potential crash. If it detects one, it shows a warning on the screen for 10 seconds, then it starts a 10-second countdown, accompanied by an alarm sound. After the countdown, the phone calls 911, relaying a message and providing location details. If you have an emergency contact, it will send them a text.

After receiving the call from the dentist’s phone, the police reached the amusement park but were unable to find any crash. The report said similar alerts have been triggered by the Joker roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago.

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