Apple is reportedly working on a new iPhone and Apple Watch feature that detects if you’re in a car accident and automatically dials 911. The current plan is to roll out such a feature next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Google’s personal safety app on Pixel phones already includes a feature to call for help when it detects car crashes, much like connected car services in modern vehicles, including GM’s OnStar, do. Starlink from Subaru and Uconnect from Fiat Chrysler. Many cars on the road today do not come with any connectivity functionality. Therefore, collision detection on an iPhone also means that more drivers can get the help they need in a crash as long as they have it in their pocket or mounted on their dashboard.
The increase in the dangerous use of smartphones in cars has given way to integration systems like CarPlay and Android Auto, the first appearing in nearly 80% of new vehicles in 2020, according to Apple. Building a new collision detection feature in iPhone alongside CarPlay could bolster Apple’s “IronHeart” project to connect its phone to car settings the same way HomeKit controls speakers and smart lighting. Target the annual $ 2 billion in revenue that GM brings with OnStar with the built-in features would be a very Apple thing to do.
While Apple’s accident detection hasn’t always worked as expected in the past, the company has had many years to collect data and analysis on consenting iOS and watchOS users. It remains to be seen how accurately Apple will be able to detect car crashes, let alone falls. Speaking from personal experience, I fell off a scooter in February 2020 wearing an Apple Watch Series 4, and the device was ready to call emergency services until I hit the button. ” I’m fine “. But after a more recent trip and fall incident, my Apple Watch Series 7 did not offer support.