Friday, 24 Mar 2023

iPhones calling 911 from owners pockets on rollercoasters

iPhones calling 911 from owners pockets on rollercoasters


iPhones calling 911 from owners pockets on rollercoasters

Apple's newest phone has been automatically calling emergency services from the pockets of people riding rollercoasters in the US, mistaking the bumps and jerks of the rides as car crashes.

The latest iPhone 14, as well as newer Apple watches, includes a feature that detects the signs and vibrations typical of a serious car accident - and calls 911 if the owner does not respond to a prompt to cancel.

Since the new model went on sale in September, the Warren County 911 communications centre in Ohio received at least six crash-detection calls from people on rides, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

All of them were made automatically from Kings Island, an amusement park near Cincinnati that includes the Orion, a 91mph thrill ride that plummets more than 300ft (90 metres).

Other alerts were also triggered by the 12-storey Joker rollercoaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago, Illinois, the newspaper reported.

One automated call, made by the phone of Sara White as she enjoyed a 50mph ride on Mystic Timbers at Kings Island, told emergency services of her coordinates and said: "The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone." In the background of the automated message, cheers and music can be heard.

Apple's new crash detection software can alert emergency services when owners are unresponsive or unconscious. After a deadly accident in the US state of Nebraska in which a car hit a tree, an iPhone alerted authorities even though there were no witnesses.

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