The iPhone 14 can automatically call for help in the event of a traffic accident, but this feature has been accused of calling for help by mistake during certain thrill rides. A bias to qualify.
Space Mountain, a sunny Saturday afternoon as many dream of when they go to Disneyland Paris. The attraction starts in euphoria. Five minutes later, you extricate yourself laughing. Then you take out your iPhone 14 brand new from your bag to make the best selfie of your life. Strangely, the smartphone displays text messages from your loved ones asking you if everything is fine. What happened ? While you were living your best life in Space Mountain, the iPhone 14 thought it was a traffic accident, called for help, and sent a message to your emergency contacts.
According to an article from wall street journal released on October 9, several iPhone 14 owners have fallen victim to this error. The starting point is always the same: the victim gets on a thrill ride with his phone, which then analyzes the situation very badly. Joanna Stern, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says at least six fake crashes were reported on Kings Island (Mason, Ohio) and more were recorded at Six Flags Great America (near Chicago).
The problem with the iPhone 14? Its efficiency
“ iPhone detects crashes based on one million hours of real-world driving and crash data “, can we read on the dedicated page to this functionality introduced on the iPhone 14 range (which is also found in theApple Watch Series 8 and theApple Watch Ultra). Concretely, the latest Apple products have inherited more precise sensors to efficiently record sudden variations in speed, sudden changes in direction or even collision noises – all events likely to be linked to a crash. Except that we find similarities with roller coasters, like sudden changes in speed (the attractions go fast but, above all, can brake very hard) and sudden changes in direction. We can estimate that the iPhone 14 is a little too effective when it takes an attraction for an accident.
Of course, many owners are going to wonder if their iPhone 14 will alert rescuers every time they ride a ride. Nicolas Lellouche, tech journalist for Numerama, went to Disneyland Paris without ever leaving his iPhone 14 Pro Max. And his smartphone never detected a fake traffic accident, even when he rode the Avengers Assemble: Flight Force attraction — an attraction that Disney categorizes as ‘Big Thrills’. In general, the sample mentioned by the Wall Street Journal – less than ten people – remains small to make it a real problem. How many iPhone 14 owners have been on thrill rides in the last month without any false alarms?
There are other, more rare cases, which can lead the iPhone 14 to call for help without it being necessary – a simple fall, albeit at high speed, of the smartphone for example. Sensors are designed to react to specific situations and sometimes they do so stupidly, if not very pragmatically. We imagine that Apple will continually refine this function to avoid false alerts as much as possible (which can really worry relatives).
How do I disable emergency calls?
As a matter of principle, we do not want to recommend that you deactivate emergency calls. This function is useful and can save lives.
However, if you’re heading to an amusement park in the next few days and want to make sure the day doesn’t turn bad, then you can always turn this setting off temporarily, before turning it back on.
Here’s the procedure to follow :
- Go to ‘Settings’;
- Press ‘Emergency call’ (third block);
- Uncheck ‘Call after a serious accident’.
This manipulation takes less than a minute. Don’t forget to put it back on when you leave: it can really save lives.
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Does the iPhone 14 really have a problem with amusement parks?
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