One of the key features of the iPhone 14 and last year’s Apple Watch models was the Crash Detection function. It should detect when the owner of the device gets into a traffic accident and automatically notify emergency services about the event if the person cannot do it on their own. Sometimes the function works incorrectly, identifying road accidents, for example, on rides in amusement parks. This time, the same problem happened at the music festival.
During the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, false calls to 911 increased fivefold this time. The festival attracted more than 80,000 people, which already increases the burden on emergency services, and false calls only make the situation worse in such a case.
Scott LeDuc, director of the county’s 911 Communications Center, explained that the false calls were caused by Apple devices whose owners were just having fun at the festival. As a result, the emergency services had to contact Apple about the situation, and the company even offered to send its engineers to help on the spot to help deal with the problem. But it was possible to resolve the situation by phone.
Local police also urged visitors to turn off Crash Detection while at the festival, which reduced the number of false calls “by 40-60 percent.” LeDuc separately noted that despite the increase in calls, first responders were able to respond to each one and provide help where it was truly needed.
This is far from the first story in which current models of the iPhone and Apple Watch together with the Crash Detection function create problems with false calls. But there are other cases when the system really helps in emergency situations. Most likely, a situation like Bonnaroo will not be the last, but eventually similar cases still have to be “calibrated”.