After adding a new Driving Focus mode in iOS 15 designed to keep your eyes on the road, Apple is reportedly looking to add a new safety feature that will automatically call emergency services when your iPhone or Apple Watch detects a crash.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new feature called “crash detection” that will use motion-sensor technology to determine if you have been in a car accident. If so, it would automatically call 911 in the U.S. and presumably other local emergency numbers.
As the Journal describes, the feature “uses data from sensors built into Apple devices including the accelerometer to detect car accidents as they occur, for instance by measuring a sudden spike in gravity, or ‘g,’ forces on impact.” Apple already uses a similar system to detect falls with the Apple Watch.
The report says Apple has been testing the feature by collecting data shared anonymously from iPhone and Apple Watch users. In all, iPhones and Apple Watches have already detected more than 10 million “suspected vehicle impacts,” of which more than 50,000 included a call to 911, according to the Journal.
It’s unclear how users have been participating in the program or sharing information with Apple. The Journal says the feature is due to arrive next year but “the timing of the new feature could change, or Apple could choose not to release it.”