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iPhone 14 gets car-crash detection feature that can call for help


Apple calls the crash detection feature “groundbreaking” and will aid those who find themselves in an emergency, however it’s not brand new tech

American technology giant Apple will fit its new iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 devices with car-crash detection sensors that can call for help if the owner is incapacitated.

According to Apple, their latest mobile phone has an in-built dual-core accelerometer that is capable of detecting G forces at up to 256G. 

The tech works alongside a new gyroscope as well as a barometre, microphone and a GPS unit that can detect sudden and unexpected changes in speed. 

Apple has added a car-crash detection feature to its iPhone 14 model

How does this safety technology work?

When a crash occurs, the software will immediately call emergency services even if the person is unconscious or cannot reach their phone. 

This will also work in partnership with the Apple Watch that will likely be closer and physically on the person when the accident happens. 

Apple claims the system uses over one million hours of real-world driving and crash data to help recognise incidents when they happen. 

The Apple iPhone crash detection screen

The new Iphone 14 spent some of its development time in laboratory crash tests that included head-on, rear-end, side-impact and rollover crashes. 

The sound of the crash can also alert the phone to call emergency services, along with any cabin pressure changes such as when airbags are deployed. This is measured by the built-in barometer. 

Apple is not the first to bring car crash detection technology into the industry 

While Apple is getting plenty of attention over its new crash detection feature, it was Google that made this technology available to the public in 2019 with the launch of the Google Pixel 4. 

Apple is not the first to bring this technology into existence

Google has an app on every Pixel phone called Safety that includes Car Crash Detection software. Users can also put emergency contacts, blood type and more into the app just in case the unexpected happens. 

The Google system works by using location data, motion sensors and microphones within the device to pinpoint the conditions of a car accident. 

Google says on its support page that “if your phone determines you got in a severe car crash and calls emergency services, your approximate location and car crash data may be transmitted to emergency services by Android’s Emergency Location Service”. 

Companies such as Hyundai have SOS buttons in their cars

Don’t some new cars have this feature installed already? 

Correct. Several manufacturers have emergency services built into the car that can contact emergency personnel if you find yourself in a serious accident. 

BMW, for example, has a covered SOS button built into the headliner of some, if not all, of their models. When the user presses the SOS button, a tiny panel will open that will reveal a red button. 

2018 BMW 5 Series Touring BMW Badge
BMW and Mercedes-Benz both have emergency buttons in their cars

No, this is not to launch the car into space, but instead will call either BMW’s local support team or emergency services. 

Mercedes-Benz has a similar system that it launched way back in 2012. It has featured in all models sold by the manufacturer since 2014. 

Even Volvo has fitted an SOS button to a lot of its cars that helps an owner get in contact with emergency services after an accident.