While at its September event, where Apple announced the latest iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 ranges, the company unveiled a new feature: Crash Detection. Apple said it hopes you’ll never need it, but if you do, that you’ll feel a little safer the next time you’re in a car. Here is everything you need to know about Crash Detection, including how it works and which iPhone and Apple Watch models support it.
What is Apple Crash Detection?
Apple’s latest Apple Watches and iPhones can detect if you are in a severe car crash thanks to Crash Detection. It will automatically connect you with emergecny services, provide your location, and notify emergency contacts. Apple said Crash Detection runs only when you’re driving and processes data only at the time of the crash, entirely on your device.
How does Apple Crash Detection work?
Apple Watch users
In order to tell if you’ve been in a car crash, Apple said it developed two new motion sensors for Apple Watch Series 8: An improved 3-axis gyroscope and a high g-force accelerometer. These can detect up to 256g force, which Apple said allows it to detect the extreme impact of a crash. These sensors can sample motion up to 4x faster than their predecessors, so Apple Watch Series 8 can sense the precise moment of impact. Apple also built an advanced “sensor fusion” algorithm to enable accurate crash detection. The company studied, for years, vehicle impacts at state-of-the-art crash test labs.
Similar to the Apple Watch Series 8, the new iPhone 14 models feature new hardware that can detect 256g force. They have a high-dynamic range gyroscope and a new dual-core accelerometer. With these, your phone can automatically notify emergency services and your emergency contacts if you are in a severe car crash. If you have a new Apple Watch and a new iPhone, they seamlessly work together to get you help, Apple said.
What accidents can Crash Detection identify?
During its testing and development, Apple said it focused on four types of severe car crashes: Front-impact, side-impact, rear-end collision, and rollovers.
In each crash test, Apple captured data through its gyroscopes and accelerometers – as well as other Apple Watch Series 8 sensors such as the barometer, microphone, and GPS – and then it used machine learning to incorporate all of these signals into an algorithm that was trained on over 1,000,000 hours of real-world driving and crashes. The result is Crash Detection, which Apple hopes you’ll never have to use.
Which cars support Crash Detection?
Apple said Crash Detection can work across most popular types of vehicles, like passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
Which iPhones and Apple Watches offer Crash Detection?
Crash Detection is present on Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, as well as the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.