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iPhone: roller coaster rides trigger accident detection

Some new Apple devices are equipped with a feature that is supposed to detect car accidents and then make an automated emergency call. Reports now suggest that there are numerous false positives. Roller coaster rides in particular are said to be frequently misinterpreted as accidents, triggering emergency calls.

Reports from several theme parks

Accident detection, which is designed to save lives when in doubt, is used in the iPhones 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, as well as the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE 2. According to reports from the U.S. newspaper Wall Street Journal, there has been an increased incidence of misactivation of this feature at several theme parks. The Kings Island Amusement Park near Cincinnati and the Six Flags Great America park near Chicago are said to be affected.

It is not yet known why roller coaster rides, of all things, increasingly trigger accident detection. Actually, the iPhone should be able to detect that it is not in a car based on the ambient noise and the lack of a Car Play connection. On the other hand, roller coasters develop enormous acceleration and centrifugal forces, which can resemble the forces acting in a serious accident. Apple’s new devices are equipped with a revised accelerometer that measures these exact forces.

Apple itself was evasive in its comments to the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. company only stated that it had trained and tested the function with one million hours of accident data, real drives and crash tests. Apple further stated it was very good at detecting serious accidents and aimed to deliver hardly any false positives – which is now happening on a relatively large scale, however.

Other false triggers also known

In addition to roller coaster rides, other events are also known to cause the iPhone to falsely detect an accident and notify emergency services. In particular, the iPhone falling out of car windows as well as the device detaching from the motorcycle during a ride can lead to false triggers – which, however, is far less surprising than the triggering on the roller coaster.

This can be prevented by turning off the function, by putting the iPhone in flight mode and by not taking it with you on the roller coaster. The latter approach is particularly recommended, since a cell phone that slips away on the roller coaster poses a potentially lethal danger to other people on the coaster – and is therefore not allowed to be taken onto the ride in the first place in most amusement parks.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Some new Apple devices are equipped with a feature that is supposed to detect car accidents and then make an automated emergency call. Reports now suggest that there are numerous false positives. Roller coaster rides in particular are said to be frequently misinterpreted as accidents, triggering emergency calls. Reports from several theme parks Accident detection, … (Weiterlesen...)

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