Which iPhones and Apple Watches Can Detect Car Crashes?

With the unveiling of its new iPhones, Watches, and other products, Apple has added a new key feature to its latest range of devices – Crash Detection. It’s a feature you would hope you will never need but in the event of a severe car crash, your iPhone and Apple Watch can now know whether you were in an accident so you’ll feel safer the next time you step out to drive. 

In this post, we’ll explain what Car Crash Detection is all about and which iPhones and Apple Watches support this feature. 

What is Car Crash Detection?

Car Crash Detection as the feature is aptly named enables your iPhone and Apple Watch to detect when you’re in a severe car crash. The feature uses a combination of new motion sensors like high-sensitivity accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and microphones that can generate different types of movement data.

The data is then fed into Apple’s advanced motion algorithms that monitor your motion, and detect sudden changes in your motion or orientation. The algorithm distinguishes these from your regular motion and decides whether or not you were in a car crash. 

When a car crash is detected, your iPhone or Apple Watch immediately connects you with emergency services, shares your accurate location, and also notifies contacts you’ve marked for emergencies. Apple claims its algorithm was developed for all kinds of collisions like head-on, rear-end, side-impact, and rollover crashes. To make the detection more precise, Apple has used crash data from 1 million hours of real-world car crashes. 

What do an iPhone and Apple Watch need to detect car crashes?

For Car Crash Detection to work, your iPhones and Apple Watch use data from a bunch of sensors. 

  • A high g-force accelerometer that can sense up to 256 Gs to detect extreme acceleration, deceleration, or any sudden speed shifts. 
  • A barometer can detect changes in cabin pressure which can happen when an airbag is deployed in the event of a crash. 
  • A gyroscope with a high dynamic range that can monitor sudden changes in a car’s orientation. 
  • A microphone that can detect loud sounds caused by collision. 

The data from all of these sensors are then churned into Apple’s advanced motion algorithms to distinguish a car crash from other incidents. 

Which iPhones can detect car crashes?

Apple’s Crash Detection only works when your iPhone has the handful of sensors that we’ve explained above. Since only the new iPhone 14 models have these sensors embedded in them, Car Crash Detection will only work on these iPhones:

  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max

Older devices like the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 won’t be able to detect car crashes as they lack the sensors needed to monitor such incidents. 

Which Apple Watches can detect car crashes?

As is the case with the iPhones listed above, Apple’s Crash Detection will currently only work with the latest Watch models released. Since the sensors required to detect a car crash are only available on the new models, the feature will only work on these Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Ultra
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch SE (2022)

Older Apple Watch models don’t offer the feature since they lack the necessary sensors to monitor your movement relevant to that of a car crash. 

That’s all you need to know about iPhones and Apple Watches that support Car Crash Detection. 

Posted by
Ajaay

Ambivalent, unprecedented, and on the run from everyone's idea of reality. A consonance of love for filter coffee, cold weather, Arsenal, AC/DC, and Sinatra.

3 Comments

  1. Apple stole this feature from Android as The Google Pixel also detect car crashes

    1. All of these phone companies constantly take from each other. Apple usually takes longer but it makes it more polished. Things like crash detection being ‘stolen’ should be invited on all phones I mean it’s a feature that will save lives, put it in every phone

      1. Yeah but… how else can a fan boy get through their day.

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