Recently Apple announced a new iOS update for iPhones that optimizes Crash Detection which can notify emergency services if the user becomes unresponsive after ”serious car crash”. However the authorities are not satisfied.
The most recent update iOS 16.3.1 from Apple Inc. for iPhone 14 and 14 Pro adds improvements to their Crash Detection feature. In addition a few adjustments for iCloud settings and Siri requests for the Find My app have also been included. The Verge reports that Apple Inc. also issued updated software for HomePods, Mac OS and tvOS.
Although this is significant news, the new Crash Detection feature was criticized by several search and rescue personnel after experiencing the false alarms triggered by the new iOS feature during winter sports activities.
The Crash Detection feature in iPhones and Apple watches is designed to alert emergency services when the user is deemed to be unresponsive after a “severe car crash”. This service is enabled by default. However, several false reports have been made by the Crash Detection that logged the time and resources of the first responders, said IANS in a report.
For example in December 2022, a group of skiers in the USA had their Apple devices sending automated crash warnings to dispatchers at the Summit County 911 Center. Although there was no real emergency, this grabbed a lot of attention causing them to take a while to handle the situation by informing ski patrollers to check the location of the automated calls if the calls of dispatchers are unanswered by the users.
According to the IANS this is not the first time Crash Detection was optimized by Apple. Earlier in November 2022, Apple released the update iOS 16.1.2 which included system changes. Following the update another series of false alerts triggered by the iPhones of users during a roller coaster ride were reported. However this was not addressed by Apple in their latest update.
The IANS further stated in the report that it wasn’t explicitly mentioned whether the update was intended to address false positives nor did it address the issues with snow sports incidents.
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