Ever since the Apple Watch Series 4, the tech group has been offering fall detection that can be used to make an emergency call. With the new Apple Watch 8 and the new iPhone 14, crash detection for car accidents is now to follow, which automatically triggers an emergency call.
The first few minutes after an accident are crucial. If the worst comes to the worst, any help is welcome – and from now on it should also come from the iPhone 14 and the Apple Watch Series 8. For this purpose, a function has now been announced that should automatically make an emergency call in the event of a car accident. Basically, Apple's smartphones and smartwatches get an eCall, which has been mandatory in all new vehicles since 2018.
In Europe, the emergency call should be made via the mobile network, i.e. via the SIM or eSIM of the smartphone. In the USA and Canada, the emergency call can also be sent via the Globalstar satellite network to call emergency services.
1 million hours of driving and accident data
In order to detect a crash, Apple analyzed various accident situations and developed an algorithm that can detect front and rear impacts, but also side impacts and rollovers. Overall, Apple wants to have examined a million hours of real driving and accident data.
In addition to the data from the existing sensors in the devices, Apple is probably primarily relying on the information from a new and better acceleration sensor and gyroscope for the analysis. In addition, GPS data and sudden changes in pressure are registered by the barometer and used for evaluation. In addition, Apple's emergency call assistant also checks whether the microphone has suddenly registered loud noises, such as those that occur in an accident.
10 seconds until the emergency call is made
As soon as the technology has detected an accident, the display asks if everything is OK. If it was a false alarm, the emergency call can be canceled within 10 seconds. If not, the iPhone or Apple Watch initiates an emergency call and connects the casualty to a control center. The Apple Watch also triggers an 86 decibel siren to draw attention to the emergency on site.
So far, Apple has not revealed how exactly it will continue. In the case of fall detection, which Apple has already introduced for its users with the Apple Watch 4, the system also recognizes when the wearer of the watch is unable to move and, after a countdown of 30 seconds, automatically sends the coordinates, i.e. the longitude and latitude of the accident location , to the emergency call center. In addition, information is read out over the loudspeaker that the user has stored in their emergency pass on the iPhone and has released for emergencies, so that the emergency services can better prepare for the incident and the operation.
Read here how such an electronic emergency call basically works.
It is difficult to say whether it is really necessary for the smartphone and smartwatch to also make an emergency call. But in case of doubt, it will hardly cause any damage if one of the systems does not trigger and worse can be prevented by calling the emergency room. It should also be noted that just because new vehicles without eCall have not been allowed to be homologated since 2018, there are still a few older vehicles on the road and for them the iPhone and Apple Watch function can save lives if the worst comes to the worst.