Like the iPhone 14, the Apple Watch Series 8 also includes Apple’s Crash Detection feature. A new report out of Germany today highlights a story where this feature kicked in to help save the lives of three people who were in car crash where their car fell down a 20-meter-deep embankment…
Apple Watch Crash Detection plays key role in rescue
As reported by regional Germany newspaper Mittelbayerische Zeitung, the accident occurred on Monday morning and is already making headlines due in part for the Apple Watch’s involvement. According to the initial investigations, the car was driving on the Bundesautobahn 20 when it “left the lane to the right, drove through a green strip, and was catapulted over the crash barrier.
The three passengers were “partially trapped in the vehicle wreckage in the accident,” according to a report from Heise Online. There were no witnesses to the accident, nor could it be seen from the roadway above. This is where the Apple Watch’s Crash Detection feature kicked in to call emergency services on behalf of the three passengers.
The Apple Watch Series 8 automatically shared the exact location of the accident with first responders. This allowed police and fire brigade rescue workers, along with a full rescue service, to travel to the scene of the accident. According to the initial reports, the driver suffered minor injuries while the two passengers “suffered serious injuries.” All three were taken to nearby hospitals.
Apple Watch Crash Detection works by triggering the Emergency SOS feature when a car crash is detected. If the user is does not respond to the notification, the iPhone or Apple Watch will then automatically dial emergency services. It will then also share the user’s exact location with dispatchers, just like it did in this story.
The wristwatch informed the rescuers of the exact location so that the police and fire brigade rescue workers and the rescue service could be brought to the scene of the accident. At the scene of the accident in the area of the B20/A3 near Steinach, the rescue workers discovered a vehicle about 20 meters off the roadway in the bushes. This could not be seen from the roadway.
iOS 16.3.1 was released yesterday and includes “optimizations” to the Crash Detection algorithm. These optimizations come in response to complaints from first responders about false positive Crash Detection alerts. Stories like today’s out of Germany are a prime example of Apple needing to find the perfect balance between crashes being properly detected and false positives.
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