Rollercoaster Rides Trigger Emergency Calls From New IPhones
Last Updated on: 12th October 2022, 01:02 pm
A new feature on the newest iPhones and Apple Watches has started having unforeseen consequences. When the rides on amusement park roller coasters plummet, the phones and watches activate their crash detection systems.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at one US amusement park, the plummeting rides activated the phones’ crash detection system. The feature was introduced in the new iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, Ultra, and SE with the latest OS.
Peace Of Mind
Apple told the newspaper the technology is intended to provide “peace of mind” and will continue to improve over time. Although a new feature on the iPhones, the crash detection system recently demonstrated its utility in alerting emergency services to a fatal accident in Nebraska.
Google’s Pixel phone already has a crash detection system. However, the feature has yet to be integrated into the operating system, so when a Pixel phone falls, the user is typically notified only through a notification on the phone’s lock screen.
Apple’s emergency call system is being put to the test after reports of iPhones triggering the system while on amusement park rides. The Wall Street Journal tested the system by using the skills of a “demolition derby” driver and found that the system is not overly sensitive. However, the newspaper was provided with records of six calls to local emergency services from iPhones whose crash detection system had been triggered while on rides at Kings Island amusement park outside Cincinnati, Ohio.
In a recording of one of the calls obtained by the newspaper, an automated message from an iPhone can be heard saying: “The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone”. The sound of the amusement park is audible in the background.
Drivers have also described instances where the crash detection system has been triggered because phones were dropped while their vehicle was moving.
Emergency services in Warren County, Tennessee, received dozens of false emergency calls over the weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal. The calls, made from new iPhones with the “collision detection” feature activated, caused dispatchers to waste time and resources.
Dollywood, a theme park partly owned by country music performer and literacy campaigner Dolly Parton, has also warned riders of the risk of false alerts. Signs placed at entrances to two of the park’s most “intense” roller coasters warned riders that Apple watches and other similar devices should not be taken on the ride, Coaster101’s reporter noted, as they could trigger the collision detection feature and cause an unintended emergency call.
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