The latest Apple Watch and iPhone could save lives in any car crash.
Systems that detect car crashes and alert emergency services have been around for a while. Still, Apple has released technology to integrate this functionality into wearable tech with the new Apple Watch and the new iPhone. Unveiled alongside the new Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14 today is the ability to detect crashes in any car, anywhere, and provide an emergency medical response with detailed crash data.
During Wednesday's Apple Event, a number of new announcements concerning the iPhone and Apple Watch were made, but our focus was on the new car crash-related tech that will help save lives.
The best part is that the Apple tech will be with you regardless of the car you are driving - new, old, or even super safe like the Subaru Forester.
"[According to] The US Department of Transportation, almost half of the worst crashes occur in rural areas, and the majority involve only a single vehicle," says Deidre Caldbeck, Director Of Apple Watch Product Marketing. "So we built an innovative new feature to help in situations like this. Introducing crash detection, the Apple Watch Series 8 can detect if you were in a severe car crash. When a crash is detected, it will automatically connect you with emergency services, provide your location and notify your emergency contacts."
The tech has existed in the Apple Watch and iPhone, but the 3-axis gyroscope and accelerometer have been heavily revised. The hardware will measure more G forces, provide more accurate samples, and integrate with loads of driving data for further iOS integration.
The new accelerometer can measure a whopping 256 Gs to measure the severity of any car crash. The sample rate is also four times faster than before, now reading data 3000 times per second. This means it can detect the precise moment a collision is detected, in which direction, location, and even what type of crash the Apple device is involved in.
"We built an advanced sensor fusion algorithm to deliver accurate crash detection," says Ron Huang, the VP of Sensing and Connectivity. "We started by spending years studying vehicle impacts at state-of-the-art crash test labs. We focused on four main types of severe crashes, front impact, side impact, rear-end collision, and rollovers in each crash test. We capture data from the new gyroscope, accelerometer, and other sensors in Series 8, including the barometer, microphone, and GPS."
From there, the machine-learning takes over. The tech results from over a million hours of real-world driving data logging in the world's most popular cars, trucks, and SUVs. As for privacy features, the technology is only active while you are driving and in the event of an accident. The tech will undoubtedly be integrated into next-gen Apple CarPlay and the Apple car, should it ever arrive.
This tech in the Apple Smart Watch Series 8 and the upcoming iPhone 14 will also allow the device to notify emergency services using GPS and the new eSIM cardless tech. In a crash, the iPhone may fly around the cabin. Still, it automatically makes emergency calls, and the Apple Watch is always there in its new shatter-proof casing, ready to communicate if you or others are involved in a car crash. A notification will then appear on the screen, and you have 10 seconds to respond before it calls emergency services. You might want to keep that in mind for track days.
The iPhone 14 starts at $799 for the base 128GB model, going up to $1,099 if you want 512GB. The Plus retails for between $999 and $1,199. The Apple Watch Series 8 retails for $399.