Apple could be copying Pixel’s coveted “car crash detection” feature next year

Apple could be copying Pixel’s coveted “car crash detection” feature next year

Google always includes exclusive features on Pixel phones, likely to lure more people and increase sales. One of these features is car crash detection, which automatically calls emergency services (in supported regions) when a crash is detected unless you choose not to. It now seems like Apple is working on something similar for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

According to MacRumors, a report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that Apple has been silently testing this feature and collecting relevant data for the past year. The report mentions:

Apple products have already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts, of which more than 50,000 included a call to 911.

Apple has been using the 911 call data to improve the accuracy of its crash-detection algorithm, since an emergency call associated with a suspected impact gives Apple more confidence that it is indeed a car crash, according to the documents.

The feature would use iPhone and Apple Watch sensors to detect potential car crashes and offer to automatically call 911, similar to how Fall Detection currently works on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer models. The new car crash detection feature is still in testing and might never be released. Though it is rumored that Apple will make it available next year.

Some newer cars already offer this feature, but many of them require a subscription service or extra fees. It’s safe to assume Apple’s implementation, if it occurs, will be free to use, just like other similar health and emergency features on its devices. So iPhone users might end up saving money (and potentially their lives), thanks to this feature.

It’s unclear if Apple is planning to make it an iPhone 14 exclusive or bake it into a future iOS version with support for older models. Theoretically, current iPhones can support this feature, considering Apple is using them to collect data and build the car crash algorithm. However, sometimes Apple resorts to software exclusivities to market newer devices that don’t have a lot to offer on their own.

Do you currently pay a subscription to have your car call 911 in case of a crash? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.