Apple executives explain the iPhone 14 / Pro series car crash detection function

Apple introduced the "car crash detection" function in the newly released iPhone 14 / Pro series and Apple Watch, which has attracted much attention. However, the triggering conditions for this feature seem a bit odd, with some users testing collisions that fail to trigger, while others are constantly alerted when riding a roller coaster.

In an interview, two Apple executives discussed the crash detection capabilities of the iPhone 14/Pro series, explaining some specific trigger conditions.

The iPhone 14/Pro series and the new Apple Watch feature new sensors that can detect sudden changes in motion and pressure, and accelerometer sensor Values ​​up to 256G can be measured.

Ron Huang said that in the process of developing this feature, developers need to "have a basic understanding of the experience during a car crash." In a car accident, the acceleration generally exceeds 100G. In addition to data from the gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, the iPhone uses a number of other variables to understand whether the user is moving in the car and has been involved in an accident.

It's hard to say what conditions must be met to trigger because it's not a simple equation. Depending on the previous driving speed, the data values ​​after the accident are also different. Velocity changes of the device, plus impact force, plus pressure changes, plus sound make for a very dynamic algorithm.

Regarding the phenomenon that the alarm is not triggered after some car accidents, Drance said that the iPhone 14 / Pro series or the Apple Watch may have intentionally not contacted emergency services.

When I was in New York earlier, the rear fender did crash, but the crash detection was unsuccessful. It's just a small car accident, and you can keep going. That's part of sensor fusion and accuracy because we don't want to make a lot of false calls to 911 when we don't need to.

Despite Apple's efforts to avoid false calls to emergency services, there have been reports that the iPhone 14 will keep making 911 emergency calls while some people are riding a roller coaster. The false alarm call may be due to the iPhone 14/Pro series sensors erroneously interpreting the acceleration of the roller coaster as a collision with another vehicle.

Huang also talked about how Apple is testing the feature, the company will put the iPhone 14 around many cars, and Apple also studied data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to understand what types of accidents are injuries main reason.

We placed iPhones in various places in the car, such as the dummy, the car itself, and the stand. We then collect all the raw sensor data from these devices in such collisions. We have cameras inside and outside the car, so from the footage, you can determine the actual time of the impact, what data the pressure sensors measure when the airbags deploy.

Crash detection for Apple devices is available for iPhone 14 / Pro series, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra.

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