On rollercoasters, the iPhone 14 continuously dialling 911

On rollercoasters, the iPhone 14 continuously dialling 911

The iPhone 14’s new Crash Detection function, which is designed to inform authorities if it detects a traffic collision, has an unexpected side effect: it contacts 911 when riding rollercoasters. According to The Wall Street Journal, the function has resulted in police enforcement being sent to amusement parks on multiple occasions after mistaking the twists, turns, and heavy braking of a thrill ride for a true emergency.

Last month, Apple introduced Crash Detection with the new iPhone 14, Watch Series 8, SE, and Ultra, outfitting the devices with a gyroscopic sensor and high-g accelerometer trained on the impact received in simulated automobile collisions. If the sensors detect a collision, your iPhone will show a warning and contact emergency services if you do not dismiss it within 20 seconds.

When it contacts law enforcement, it will play an audio message informing them that you have been in an accident and providing them with your location. (An Apple Watch with Crash Detection can only warn authorities if your iPhone is nearby or linked to a mobile network or Wi-Fi.)

That is precisely what a number of consumers’ Apple iPhones did, but at the incorrect moment. WSJ writer Joanna Stern offers an example of one of the 911 calls made while the owner of an iPhone 14 was tied to a rollercoaster at Cincinnati’s Kings Island amusement park in a tweet. As the automated message plays, muted cries can be heard in the background as the rollercoaster takes its course.

Stern tested Apple’s Crash Detection function in a demolition derby-style experiment last month and discovered that it isn’t totally trustworthy. While Crash Detection has assisted in detecting and alerting authorities about a tragic accident in Nebraska, the tool plainly has shortcomings.

Stern claims that since the debut of the iPhone 14, Warren County, where Kings Island is situated, has received six emergency calls generated by park attractions. She also mentions that other people have had similar problems at amusement parks around the country.

Bringing cell phones on rides is never a good idea in the first place, but the potential of bogus 911 calls may be one more reason to keep the iPhone 14 (and other devices) at home. Otherwise, you may put your phone on airplane mode or deactivate the capability entirely.

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