iPhone crash detection calls cops to deadly wreck

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 3
A passenger's iPhone automatically alerted responders to a fatal car crash in Nebraska that was called "the worst crash" in the area in some time.




The new crash detection feature of iPhone 14 was triggered after the black Honda Accord's collision around 2:15 a.m. local time in near 56th and Randolph in Lincoln, Nebraska.

"When officers arrived," said local police in a statement, "they found the car, believed to be a black Honda Accord, had been eastbound near the intersection. Preliminarily, it appears it crossed the roadway and struck a tree in a yard on the north side of Randolph St."

Unlike most of the Apple Watch accounts for cardiac issues, this story does not have a happy ending. Five of the six occupants of the car were killed instantly, and a sixth died later in hospital. That she was taken to the hospital and had any chance of survival, though, was because of the iPhone's crash detection.

According to Associated Press, local police say that there were no other vehicles involved, and also no witnesses.

"This is the worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory," Lincoln Police Assistant Chief Michon Morrow said. "The cause of this accident is going to take us some time to pin down. We are looking at all possibilities, including alcohol, speed or distracted driving."

The six victims were aged between 21 and 24, said police.

While no one witnessed the crash, locals including Brad Bartak, owner of the house, heard it and tried to help.

"I noticed that there was actually a fire coming from the engine," Bartal told local news service WOWT. "I basically grabbed the garden hose and ran it up to the car and we were dousing it."

One of the six victims has been named as Jonathan Koch, 22. His sister Kayla Kelley told reporters "He was the most amazing person you'd ever meet.

"Life is so short," she continued. "In the blink of an eye, the world is just shattering around you."

This type of crash, with no witnesses around to help, is what Apple described in its launch of the crash detection feature. "Almost half of the worst crashes occur in rural areas, and the majority involve only a single vehicle," said Apple's Deirdre Caldbeck.

Crash Detection on iPhone and Apple Watch was designed, "to help in situations like this," she continued.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal has shown that there are circumstances in which crash detection does not work. There may be multiple reasons why this is true, but it appears a key part is whether the car has been driven for long enough for the iPhone's sensors to register that the owner is driving.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 210member
    Distracted driving most likely. Probably from the driver looking at his iPhone 14 instead of watching the road.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 9
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,108member
    or really any smart phone including a droid.  The sixth person would have died without the device going off surely.  We will have more of these stories undoubtedly.

    Part of the reason I upgraded was for this feature (and I don’t look at my phone while driving except when CarPlay is acting up which is rarely).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Fred257 said:
    Distracted driving most likely. Probably from the driver looking at his iPhone 14 instead of watching the road.
    If you re-read the article you’ll see that it was the PASSENGER’s iPhone 14 that detected the crash. Don’t be an ass. 
    MBearDAalseth602warrenXedthtsphericwilliamlondonmarc gbageljoeyFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Instead of "crash detection" on our phones, maybe we need intelligent cars that prevent motorists going above the speed limit, and preventing moving if alcohol is detected.

    Will Apple Car do that? Is Apple going to be responsible, or will they market it like every other company as the fastest, most powerful car out there?
    doozydozenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    neilmneilm Posts: 961member
    Six people in an Accord? So we know for certain they couldn’t all have been wearing seatbelts. And then a crash at 2:15am is at least suggestive of alcohol involvement — forensics will answer that one.
    FileMakerFellerdoozydozenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    thttht Posts: 4,639member
    bikertwin said:
    Instead of "crash detection" on our phones, maybe we need intelligent cars that prevent motorists going above the speed limit, and preventing moving if alcohol is detected.

    Will Apple Car do that? Is Apple going to be responsible, or will they market it like every other company as the fastest, most powerful car out there?
    You are expecting sensible decisions from irrational people, or perhaps impaired people, be it from drinking or group stupidity.

    Future cars will have autonomous features. True blue enter the address and go to sleep while the computer drives features, but some people will not engage in the autonomous features or choose to turn it off so that they can drive. The fatalities will go down, but there will still be fatalities.

    As for an Apple vehicle, who knows. I'm more apt to believe that Tim Cook spent billions of dollars to give Jony Ive something to do, and they just kept the project alive just out of sunk-cost fallacy. I think the window for a new automaker entrant is gone. They needed to come out with an EV sometime in 2015 to 2020. Now? I don't think there is any room anymore as the incumbents have finally entered the EV space. Autonomous features are but one thing that sells a car. There's a whole host of other things that a company must have to be successful. In the EV space, it's basically always being on the leading and production edge for batteries, including the eventual solid-state batteries. If a company doesn't have a good supply chain for batteries, hard to be successful.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    tht said:
    bikertwin said:
    Instead of "crash detection" on our phones, maybe we need intelligent cars that prevent motorists going above the speed limit, and preventing moving if alcohol is detected.

    Will Apple Car do that? Is Apple going to be responsible, or will they market it like every other company as the fastest, most powerful car out there?
    You are expecting sensible decisions from irrational people, or perhaps impaired people, be it from drinking or group stupidity.

    Future cars will have autonomous features. True blue enter the address and go to sleep while the computer drives features, but some people will not engage in the autonomous features or choose to turn it off so that they can drive. The fatalities will go down, but there will still be fatalities.

    As for an Apple vehicle, who knows. I'm more apt to believe that Tim Cook spent billions of dollars to give Jony Ive something to do, and they just kept the project alive just out of sunk-cost fallacy. I think the window for a new automaker entrant is gone. They needed to come out with an EV sometime in 2015 to 2020. Now? I don't think there is any room anymore as the incumbents have finally entered the EV space. Autonomous features are but one thing that sells a car. There's a whole host of other things that a company must have to be successful. In the EV space, it's basically always being on the leading and production edge for batteries, including the eventual solid-state batteries. If a company doesn't have a good supply chain for batteries, hard to be successful.
    Respectfully disagree with your last paragraph's premise. Firstly because Apple (especially under SJ) never had a problem discontinuing anything if it didn't measure up, secondly because they convinced Bob Mansfield to come out of retirement to work on the project. Now maybe it's something that has held on because it was one of Steve's babies, but that's still pretty unlikely - unfortunately we just don't know because it's an ultra secret project, and we're unlikely to ever know.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,579member
    To address some of the previous comments:

    Fred didn’t bother to read the article before making his comment, or perhaps he just has low comprehension (and no tact) problems. In any case, welcome to my block list — you very efficiently established that you have nothing worthwhile to say here.

    As for the “Apple Car” — there isn’t going to be one. Apple is not going to become an automaker, because they would have had to start building plants 10 years ago and establishing relationships with parts manufacturers and potential dealerships at least five years go. There is also a LOT of regulatory permitting that has to happen to make cars, and you can’t keep that stuff hidden because it is public record — and there’s no record of Apple doing any of this. What Apple is doing is building expanded CarPlay like interfaces and other technology to license to other carmakers — we already got a sneak preview of this, but there’s probably a great deal more in store (looking at patents and such).

    Carplay has proven essential to the industry — I recall an AI story that said something higher than 80 percent of new car buyers expect/demand Carplay (and/or Android Auto) compatibility in any vehicle they consider purchasing. It took a while for the industry to adopt, but if Apple comes out with additional experience- and safety-enhancing tech the industry is very likely to slowly adopt it. That’s where I think Apple is going with this — licensing tech, not selling cars.

    As regards this specific tragedy, I obviously can’t know the specifics, but the “instantly killed” death rate would lead anyone to suspect that very high speed combined with too many people in the vehicle made this accident unsurvivable. Given the time off the crash and the age of the victims, it is also easy to assume alcohol and/or drugs were involved, but we’ll have to see about that. Americans have typically resisted the idea of speed governors, but as smart cars evolve we may see such safety “restrictions” having to be implemented to avoid tragedies like this one.


    muthuk_vanalingamdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    chasm said:
    Americans have typically resisted the idea of speed governors, but as smart cars evolve we may see such safety “restrictions” having to be implemented to avoid tragedies like this one.

    If all cars becomes smart, speed can increase without casualties due to human error. Wildlife will of course still be a hazard if not Airtagged..


    Now what about train, plane and boat crashes, will the smart device also detect them in future updates? It should at lest detect cars standing still being rammed.
    edited November 2
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