Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will add a new ‘crash detection’ feature on Apple Watch and iPhone to automatically dial 911 if the user is in a car accident. The feature is said to launch by 2022.
Currently, Apple Watch Series 4 or later models offer a ‘fall detection’ feature that detects hard fall automatically and responds by tapping on the user’s wrist, sounding an alarm, and displaying an emergency prompt to know if the user is conscious or not. If the user stays immobile for 60 seconds, the smartwatch automatically calls 911 to get help. The feature has saved several lives; saved a 70 years old retired management consultant, Danial Pfau from a fatal injury, William Rogers‘ Apple Watch smartwatch saved his life after he fell into the Salmon Falls River through broken ice and communicated near-exact latitude and longitude of an unresponsive man in Chandler, Arizona.
A patent suggests that Apple might upgrade the feature with the ability to send fallen users’ health data to emergency services so that medical professionals are aware of the patients’ condition before an ambulance reaches them.
Like Fall detection, 2022 Apple Watch and iPhone will be able to detect car crashes and call 911 automatically
As per the report, during testing, Apple Watch and iPhone were able to 10 million suspected vehicle impact and called 911 over 50,000 times.
Apple has been testing the crash-detection feature in the past year by collecting data shared anonymously from iPhone and Apple Watch users, the documents show. Apple products have already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts, of which more than 50,000 included a call to 911.
Apple has been using the 911 call data to improve the accuracy of its crash-detection algorithm, since an emergency call associated with a suspected impact gives Apple more confidence that it is indeed a car crash, according to the documents.
Although the given launch time of the new feature is 2022 with iOS 16 and watchOS 9 updates, it is also mentioned that Apple might not offer the feature altogether if it does not perform well. If the crash detection feature is introduced, it is likely to play an instrumental role in saving the lives of users trapped in their vehicle after an unfortunate accident.