Roller Coasters Can Trigger Crash Detection in the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch

Originally published at: Roller Coasters Can Trigger Crash Detection in the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch - TidBITS

It seems obvious in retrospect, but we now have confirmation that the new Crash Detection feature in the iPhone 14 and current Apple Watch models can be triggered by roller coaster rides. Here’s how to turn it off temporarily.

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Your article noted that the WSJ article was paywalled. However, if you subscribe to Apple News+, you can read the article via the News app. The trick to seeing if you can read a paywalled article on Apple News is to copy and paste the headline into the search box in Apple News.

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It seems unlikely that a roller coaster would actually trigger a crash alert, because, while roller coasters do have high g-force and velocity, as far as I know they lack the sudden deceleration of car crashing into something. As background, OnStar uses the CDC Severe Injury Prediction Algorithm which takes into account the rate of deceleration, OnStar also transmits this information in 911 calls. If iPhones are erroneously treating roller coasters as crashes, that sounds like poor engineering and/or a failure to look at the existing car crash detection systems that have been deployed for about 15 years.

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By the way, Apple confirmed that it turns off airplane mode when it detects a crash (this was in the context of users turning on airplane mode to try and force the phone to place a 911 call via the new text-via-satellite feature).