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Video Shows Man Wrecking Car to Test iPhone 14 Crash Detection

The car was repeatedly crashed at varying rates of speed.

It was one heck of an unboxing. One of the iPhone 14's new features is crash detection—it can automatically sense a major car crash and dial emergency services if the user isn't able to get to their phone. It was only a matter of time before someone tested the feature on video, and a YouTuber named TechRax got there first. Read on to find out what their test involved, and if the test found that the feature worked.

Remote-Controlled Car Used For Test


In the test, no one was behind the wheel—the testers used a full-size car that was remote-controlled. It was repeatedly crashed at varying rates of speed to see if the crash detection was activated. The makers said the video "was filmed in a safe and controlled environment." A regular car was outfitted with a rig that let it be driven remotely, and it was rammed into a series of junkyard vehicles. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.

Phone Taped to Headrest for Impact


For the six-and-half-minute-video, the testers taped an iPhone 14 Pro to the back of the car's driver's-side headrest. Then it was collision time. They found that small bumps didn't activate the crash detection, but two stronger impacts did. (And then there was a mad dash to turn off the phone before the actual emergency services were sent out.) 

What the Company Says About Crash Detection


Crash Detection is available on the iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, SE 2, and Apple Watch Ultra. Apple describes the feature thusly: "With a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone can now detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone. These capabilities build on existing components, like the barometer, which can now detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone, which can recognize loud noises typified by severe car crashes. Advanced Apple-designed motion algorithms trained with over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data provide even better accuracy."

Expert's Response to the Video


"What I'm wondering is what's the what's how low is the bar set for crash detection?" said the Mac Observer's Nick deCourville on the publication's podcast Thursday. "And the YouTube video gave me something of an answer today. The crash, the minor fender bender—that is something hopefully you walk away from. But at the same time, it was enough to get the feature to activate." 

"Keep iPhones Away From This Man"


Social media had a variety of responses to the video. "That's just where I keep my iPhone," joked one Twitter user, referring to the Phone's rather unnatural position taped to the back of the headrest. "Keep iPhones away from this man," said another. "Cool feature but in EU every new car from few years now has to have this built in," another said. As with any new feature, bugs are possible. Twitter user @ricardorevilla_ reported that the crash detection feature on his iPhone 14 Pro went off on its own. "Had fun explaining [to] dispatch what happened," he said. He said the feature activated once when the phone was in his pants pocket, and another time when he was holding the phone and walking fast.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a seasoned writer and editor with a passion for helping people make life-improving decisions. Read more
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