News at a glance:
- Skiers are unwittingly activating Apple’s Crash Detection function and generating false warnings to 911 dispatchers.
- The issue has gotten so serious that ski resorts are posting signs requesting iPhone 14 and Apple Watch owners to switch off the function or update to the current version of the software.
- The dispatchers claim that they rarely encounter this issue with Android smartphones.
During the iPhone 14 launch, Apple announced Crash Detection, a feature that Android has had for a while. The feature is exclusive to the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. According to a report in the New York Times, skiers in Summit County, Colorado, have unintentionally activated the feature when it believes they’ve been in a crash.
The problem has become so common that first responders are concerned that their limited resources could be diverted away from real emergencies, and dispatchers could become desensitized to automated distress calls.
The agency received 185 of these calls between January 13 and January 22, according to the report. Officials remind that on a busy day in the past, the number was normally roughly half that.
Crash Detection often warns the user before initiating a distress call, allowing users 10 seconds to disable it. Due to the several layers of gear, they’re wearing, skiers aren’t hearing the buzzing or loud sounds.
According to Apple, improvements published in late 2022 the crash detection system is about to ‘optimize’. The optimized system will limit the number of erroneous calls.
Because of the controversy surrounding Crash Detection, ski resorts are now putting up signs requesting that iPhone 14 and Apple Watch owners disable the feature or update to the most recent version of the software.
Although this is the most current instance of the problem, it isn’t the first time Apple’s Crash Detection has created problems. A similar issue was reported in Park City, Utah, in November.