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iPhone 14 crash detection put to the test in wild video with real car crash

Updated Oct 10th, 2022 10:54AM EDT
iPhone 14 crash detection feature in action. iOS 16.1.2
Image: Apple

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Apple spent a significant amount of time at its September event focusing on the new safety features coming to its device lineup. One of those features was crash detection. As the name suggests, crash detection lets your iPhone 14 detect when you’ve been in a severe car crash. If so, the iPhone automatically dials emergency services.

We already know this technology works, as a very similar feature has been available on Pixel phones since 2019. Nevertheless, one YouTuber wanted to put Apple’s crash detection to the test to see whether or not it actually would work in the event of a wreck.

On Tuesday, YouTuber TechRax published a video in which an unoccupied car crashed into abandoned vehicles at high speeds with an iPhone 14 Pro attached to the headrest. After a few failed attempts, the crew eventually managed to pull off a direct hit:

TechRax says that the crash detection feature activated about ten seconds after the impact. The second attempt produced similar results. Once the iPhone 14 determines that the crash has occurred, it starts a ten-second countdown. If the owner does not cancel the call within that time, it will automatically call emergency services.

How does iPhone 14 crash detection work?

Here’s how the new iPhone 14 crash detection feature works, according to Apple:

With a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone can now detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone. These capabilities build on existing components, like the barometer, which can now detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone, which can recognize loud noises typified by severe car crashes. Advanced Apple-designed motion algorithms trained with over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data provide even better accuracy. When combined with Apple Watch, Crash Detection seamlessly leverages the unique strength of both devices to get users help efficiently. When a severe crash is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.

As Apple noted at its event, the hope is that no one ever needs this feature. That said, no one plans to be in a car accident. If you end up unconscious or unable to reach your iPhone, this feature could save your life. And it’s good to know that it actually works.

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Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.