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Apple wants your iPhone to call 911 automatically when you’re in a car crash

The feature is likely coming to iPhone and Apple Watch next year.

Apple store signage selling iphones
Image: Unsplash

Apple is working on a new safety feature for the iPhone and Apple Watch that it plans on launching sometime next year. The new “crash detection” feature would determine when you have been in a car accident, and will even automatically dial 911 for you.

According to The Wall Street Journal, newly obtained documents from the company outline its plan for the new crash detection feature. The documents show that Apple has already been testing the feature over the past year.

In its testing, Apple says it has already detected millions of potential vehicle crashes from iPhone or Apple Watch users. It is using this data, combined with associated 911 calls from the same phones, to help build out a system that will automatically and accurately detect car crashes.

How will Apple’s new feature work?

In order to automatically detect a crash, iPhones and Apple Watches will use their internal accelerometers to detect a sudden change in g-force. Using the same technology it uses to help detect people who have fallen and possibly injured themselves, Apple hopes to be able to detect car crashes to provide the same sort of help.

READ MORE: This speed trap app lets anyone take the law into their own hands

Of course, this feature will need to be fine-tuned to the fullest before it can be relied upon. Apple will have to make sure its devices can differentiate from a car crash and other sudden changes in speed or movement, like braking hard or taking a sharp turn.

And that is exactly why the company is doing rigorous testing before making the feature available. The company is obviously still in the early stages of developing this feature, and it will be at least next year before we see it, if we see it at all.

While Apple isn’t the first phone manufacturer to offer a crash detection feature (Google added the feature to its Pixel phones a couple of years ago), it’s nice to see the company working on something like this. If fully functional, this kind of feature has the real potential to save lives.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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