Skip to main content

The iPhone could soon pick up a car crash detection feature that can dial 911

Apple is reportedly adding an automatic car crash detection feature to the iPhone and Apple Watch, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The feature will debut early next year, likely with iOS 16.

The report claims that Apple will work on using the sensors present in both the iPhone and Apple Watch to detect “a sudden spike in gravity,” the same way Apple’s Watch works at the moment for fall detection. There are no details on how it would be implemented, but likely a notification will pop up, and if the user does not respond to a notification in a timely manner, then the phone will automatically dial 911 or other emergency services. This is how the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature functions.

This would not be an unprecedented feature on a phone. In fact, Google’s Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and other contemporary Pixels support car crash detection and automatic emergency services dialing in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Spain, Singapore, Australia, and Japan as part of Google’s Personal Safety app.

As smartphones are the tools used most by everyone on a daily basis, phone makers have implemented features to help mitigate some of the issues they could cause. Distracted walking is a thing that’s recently happened more and more as people pay attention to their phones to navigate or text while walking around, for example, and a new feature on Android via Google’s Digital Wellbeing app prompts users to look up and pay attention to their surroundings.

On a similar note, mobile phone use accounted for 13.4% of distraction-affected car crashes in 2019, according to a National Safety Council survey. Alongside sleep tracking, headphone volume prompts, and other similar features meant to reduce the negative effects of smartphone overdependence, car crash detection would fit right in.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
I hate my iPhone’s keyboard, but this app made it better
Theming on SwiftKey

The iPhone does a lot of things right. From serving a secure environment, a smooth operating system, unmatched performance, and consistently good cameras, there are plenty of practically justifiable reasons to overlook any of the best Android phones in favor of a pricey iPhone.

Interestingly, Apple tends to take a conservatively slow approach when it comes to smartphone innovations and only serves them after nearly near-perfecting the formula. But the default iPhone keyboard is a tale of stagnation. Or, to put it more accurately, it’s absurdly feature-devoid and depressingly non-exciting.

Read more
Your iPhone will soon be able to speak with your voice
Apple's preview of new accessibility features for its devices.

Apple has announced a slew of new accessibility features coming to the iPhone and its other devices later this year.

They include Personal Voice, which uses a synthesized version of your voice for spoken conversations, offering a more meaningful way to communicate with loved ones for those who have lost the ability to talk.

Read more
This iPhone 16 Pro rumor just ruined the iPhone 15 Pro
A black iPhone 14 Pro lying on a table.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I had a ton of hope when I splurged the equivalent of $1,700 on the iPhone 14 Pro last year, buying into the camera hype of the new 48-megapixel sensor, the snazzy Dynamic Island, and a faster chip. I was sorely disappointed, especially when I looked at the competition and noticed I was missing out on meaningful perks like a folded lens telephoto camera for a higher lossless zoom range. I was not alone in sharing the disappointment.

Read more