What is Apple Crash Detection and how does it work?

(Pocket-lint) — During its September event where Apple announced its latest iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 combinations, the company revealed a new feature: Crash Detection. Apple said it hopes you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll feel more secure the next time you’re in the car. Here’s everything you need to know about troubleshooting, including how it works and which iPhone and Apple Watch models it supports.

What is Apple Crash Detection?

The latest Apple Watch and iPhone can detect if you are in a severe traffic accident thanks to Crash Detection. It will automatically connect you to emergency services, provide your location, and notify emergency contacts. Apple said Crash Detection only runs when you’re driving and only processes data at the time of the accident, on your entire device.

How does Apple Crash Detection work?

Apple Watch users

In order to tell if you’ve been in a car accident, Apple said it has developed two new motion sensors for the Apple Watch Series 8: an improved three-axis gyroscope and a high-force accelerometer. These devices can detect a force of up to 256 grams, which Apple said allows it to detect the severe impact of a collision. These sensors can sample motion up to 4 times faster than their predecessors, so the Apple Watch Series 8 can sense the exact moment of impact. Apple has also built in an advanced “sensor fusion” algorithm to enable accurate fault detection. The company has, for years, studied the effects of compounds in its state-of-the-art crash test labs.

iPhone users

Similar to the Apple Watch Series 8, the new iPhone 14 models feature new hardware that can detect a force of 256g. They have a high dynamic range gyroscope and a new dual-core accelerometer. With these, your phone can automatically notify emergency services and emergency contacts if you are in a severe car accident. Apple said that if you have a new Apple Watch and a new iPhone, they work together seamlessly for help.

What incidents can Fault Detection identify?

During testing and development, Apple said it focused on four types of severe car crashes: frontal collision, side collision, rearward collision, and rollover.

In each crash test, Apple captured data through gyroscopes and accelerometers — as well as other Apple Watch Series 8 sensors like the barometer, microphone, and GPS — and then used machine learning to combine all of those signals into an algorithm that had been trained on more than 1,000,000 Hours of real world driving and crashes. The result is Crash Detection, which Apple hopes you’ll never have to use.

What cars support fault detection?

Apple said Crash Detection can work across the most common types of vehicles, such as passenger cars, SUVs and vans.

Which iPhones and Apple Watches Provide Troubleshooting?

Troubleshooting is available on Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, as well as iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Written by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Britta Opwell.

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