In the midst of rollercoaster activations, Apple executives explain how Crash Detection works

In the midst of rollercoaster activations, Apple executives explain how Crash Detection works ...

Apple has explained more about how Crash Detection works, as evidence suggests when rollercoaster rides are triggered. Two senior executives have said that managing a car collision is a concern.

The company claims to be using a wide range of clues, including things that are equally unlikely-seeming as Wi-Fi signals.


Crash Detection is one of the most popular iPhone 14 and Apple Watch models. Its designed to detect when someone has been in a car crash and inform them whether they need emergency medical treatment. If they fail to respond, the devices automatically dials 911 and reports the crash and its location.

In crash tests performed by reviewers, the feature has shown a variable reliability.

One concern which has arisen is that the feature can be inadvertently activated when riding on a rollercoaster.

How Crash Detection works

TechCrunch spoke with Ron Huang, vice president of sensing and connectivity at the global iPhone product market, and Kaiann Drance.

High G-forces are the greatest indication to a driver being in a car crash, and that would explain why it would also be activated on rollercoaster rides, in which relatively high G-forces may be briefly experienced.

Drance claims that it''s capable to detect G Force up to 256 Gs. That''s one of the major differences for the new accelerometers.

The company claims that the whole area is a complex one, and that there is no silver bullet in terms of a single, reliable indicator. Instead, the company combines a wide range of signals to try to detect the crash.

The gyroscope and accelerometer are just two of the sensors shown here. The list includes the GPS to determine whether the user is traveling at high speeds, the microphone to monitor for the sounds of a collision, and the barometer, which detects a decrease in pressure when airbags are deployed.

Huang cautions that there is no silver bullet in terms of crash detection. It''s difficult to say how many of these things must trigger, because it''s not a straight equation. Depending on how fast the traveling speed was earlier, determines what signals we must see later on. Your speed change, combined with the impact force, combined with the sound level, is all a pretty dynamic algorithm []

Bluetooth and Carplay are also used to verify that youre in a car, although neither are strictly necessary for the feature. Further, Huang believes that whether it be road or engine noise, we can see that the Wi-Fi routers that youre employ are changing rapidly faster than if you are walking or biking and so forth.

Crash Detection can be used in real time via satellite SOS.

Apple claims that the system has a number of ways to route emergency calls, which may be necessary in remote areas. This includes immediately testing the satellite SOS capability.

We would do it on your network first if your network isn''t available, even if your SIM isn''t the carrier that you have with your SIM. If this happens, this will be connected to the emergency SOS via satellite. If you happen to get into an accident like that, and there''s absolutely no coverage wherever you are, we will still use the emergency SOS technology.

Everything you need to know about other carriers is that every smartphone will accept a 911 call from any cellphone, but the satellite option is unique to the iPhone 14.

Photo:Johannes Blenke/Unsplash