According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new feature on iPhones that will recognize when a car crash has happened. After the crash, it will automatically call emergency services. Apple dubs this feature: “Crash detection”. This is not new to Apple though. The Apple Watch already has fall detection and will call emergency services automatically when a user does not respond once the watch has detected a fall and asks: “Are you okay?”. Apple has been saving many lives and wants to bring this life-saving capability to their iPhones next year.
Cars built after May 2018 already have this feature in Europe, which is called E-call. Once a crash is detected the car will automatically call the carmaker or emergency services. In order to avoid many false-positive car makers normally will call the car when a crash is detected to ask if the driver and passengers are okay. If not they directly will call EM and provide the location.
Apple wants to develop the iPhone even further and already has begun training its algorithms in detecting car crashes. The company wants to make sure the detection system is fully optimized. Currently, a lot of 911 providers get around 250 false 911 calls per hour. Apple definitely does not want that to happen when every second can count.
According to the newspaper, the future will come at the beginning of 2022 to IOS and WatchOS. However, it is currently unknown if this feature will launch for sure or that it will be canceled altogether. It is also possible that this new feature will appear later.
Not an unique feature for Apple
The Google Pixel already has this feature. Users can also select emergency contacts and share this once triggered. If you do not respond it will start dialing automatically. Once it has run out of contacts to call, it will then start calling emergency services.
If this works the same way as the Apple Watch works with fall detection, it will probably first ask if you are okay, if there is no response it will call 911. Users can disable this though so it is expected that users can also disable this on their iPhone. Especially if your car already has a built-in feature like this. (This is required for any cars made after May 2018 in Europe). Calling emergency services twice at the same time is not very useful.
I hope that this feature will come though. As proved with the Apple Watch, this also can save many lives.