iPhone Crash Detection Saves Man’s Life After Car Plummets 400 Feet
In an age when the debate around smart devices becomes “too smart”, there are times when they will literally help save our lives. This much is true when a driver’s iPhone Crash Detection feature was activated after accidentally driving off a cliff in California.
According to authorities, the Montrose Search and Rescue in Los Angeles County received an alert of a car crash at 10:51 p.m. on Friday, July 21st, 2023. The driver’s car had gone over a 400-foot cliff on Mt. Wilson Road. But it wasn’t the driver that alerted them. It was actually his iPhone that automatically dialed 9-1-1 and gave its GPS location to emergency services. Team members were able to locate the driver and airlift him out from the scene in time. According to Mike Leum of the Montrose Search and Rescue team, the driver “would have bled out if his iPhone didn’t send us a crash alert.”
How Does iPhone Crash Detection Work?
Apple first revealed the iPhone Crash Detection feature in September 2022 as part of the release of the iPhone 14. The feature is self-activated once it detects that the phone’s owner has been involved in an accident. From there, it displays an alert on the iPhone’s screen with options to contact emergency services. However, if the owner does not select anything within the first 20 seconds of the alert being activated, the iPhone will automatically dial 9-1-1 and play an audio message informing authorities that there has been an accident, as well as its exact location. This would come particularly useful in the event when the iPhone’s owner is either unresponsive or unconscious.
The iPhone Crash Detection is even able to reach 9-1-1 without cellular service or Wifi. In the event of an emergency, like this, it was able to send out a signal via emergency satellite SOS.
“However, in this location, there is no cell service available,” Montrose Search and Rescue operations leader Steve Goldsworthy told WSAZ. “So it then reverts to satellite communication. It sends a text message via satellite to the Apple Communications Center.”
Apple revealed its Crash Detection feature during the iPhone 14’s debut in September of 2022. While the announcement and details surrounding this feature were impressive, it is more comforting to know that it actually works in real life. However, it has also reportedly been activated in instances where first responders would not be needed, such as riding on a roller-coaster.
As seen in the captured video of the scene below, you can see that it was indeed a deep drop into the bottom of a cliff. Were it not for the iPhone’s Crash Detection, there is a chance that finding and rescuing the man trapped in the car would have taken days. Thankfully for this driver, it took them only minutes.