should accident detection be deactivated in certain cases?

should accident detection be deactivated in certain cases?

iPhone 14s keep sending false alerts to emergency services. Annoyed by the extreme sensitivity of accident detection, some centers recommend deactivating this novelty in certain situations. It’s not necessarily a very good idea.

Like the new Apple Watches, the iPhone 14s come with a feature called “Crash Detection”. This option allows the smartphone to identify when the user has a car accident. The device then automatically contacts the emergency services. Unfortunately, the feature pioneered by Apple shows a lot too sensitive. Ever since the iPhone 14s were released in fall 2022, some emergency services have been inundated with robocalls.

In some cases, the iPhone mistakes a serious road accident for a roller coaster ride. Several American amusement parks are also regularly invaded by ambulances. The function also poses a problem in ski resorts. In this case, the iPhone 14 equates the descent of a track with an automobile accident. In December, rescuers went to several stations across the United States following an unnecessary call.

iPhone 14s continue to monopolize relief

Rescue centers in Minnesota are also affected by an upsurge in false alerts generated by an iPhone or Apple Watch, reports local media MPR News. Stearns County Emergency Services says it received 10 robocalls in two weeks. Seven of those calls came from an iPhone slipped into a skier’s pocket. Of course, rescuers cannot ignore these alerts. If the user does not respond when the emergency services call him back, a team is dispatched to the site… which very often represents a huge waste of time.

Same story on the Louis County side, still in Minnesota. The center even explains that it received a call from an Apple Watch while its wearer was clearing snow. Sudden movements with the shovel triggered accident detection. These numerous untimely calls risk compromising the effectiveness of other interventions, explain the emergency centers interviewed:

When we have a snowmobile accident, for example, we always send our rescue team, we send the police. And depending on the area, EMS personnel, ambulance, first responders, and those people. It is therefore a significant amount of resources that will meet “.

Read also : The iPhone 14 Plus wouldn’t sell well enough, and that’s pretty good news

Understand your iPhone

Faced with this explosion of automated calls, the authorities of the counties concerned are recommending that their residents disable crash detection in certain situations. If you go skiing, hiking or cycling, it is advisable to temporarily deactivate the option to avoid false emergency calls.

One can understand the exasperation of the rescuers. Nevertheless, the function developed by Apple takes on its full meaning in the most risky contexts, such as extreme sports. If the option is deactivated at this time, it loses all its interest. It’s not meant to watch your movements while you’re resting on your couch. However, as Apple clearly stated in its announcement, this function is only intended to detect car accidents. The machine learning algorithms used can however misinterpret other contexts.

Despite its shortcomings, accident detection is potentially able to save your life. Since the release of the iPhone 14, several users have also been rescued thanks to this novelty. Last month, a couple of Americans who fell into a ravine were promptly taken care of by the emergency services thanks to a call made by the iPhone. More recently, an Apple Watch enabled paramedics to respond quickly to a pile-up.

Aware of the undeniable interest of the device, Dana Wahlberg, Minnesota’s director of emergency communications, invites iPhone 14 buyers to focus on built-in functions to their new phone. Rather than disabling an option that may turn out to be essential, users should understand it:

“It’s a very good opportunity to provide information to people to help them understand that they have purchased a product that contains a lot of technology. And it’s their responsibility to really embrace this technology.”

If accident detection activates for no reason, it is important to react within 20 seconds. A notification on the screen will indeed allow to reassure » iPhone or Apple Watch, and avoid an unnecessary call. If rescuers are already on the line, it is important not to hang up.

“So stay on the line and just let the dispatcher know you made a mistake. No harm done “, explains Dana Wahlberg.

As a reminder, Apple is committed to fine-tuning accident detection in the coming months through an update. In the meantime, we recommend that you keep an eye on your devices if you find yourself in hectic situations.

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