Apple's Satellite Roadside Assistance Offers Help Without Cell Signal

You'll be able to text for help from the AAA in the US, even without Wi-Fi or cellular service.

Meara Isenberg Associate Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
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Apple; screenshot by CNET

Apple on Tuesday said it's launching a roadside assistance service via satellite. It made the announcement during its "Wonderlust" event, where it launched the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9.

The new service is built on the same technology as the Emergency SOS via Satellite service Apple launched last year with the iPhone 14, according to Deniz Teoman, vice president of hardware systems engineering. It's intended for times when you have car trouble and no cellular or Wi-Fi service. Roadside service is covered by a AAA membership; it's also available separately for nonmembers.

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You'll be able to text roadside assistance and select the help you need. During the event, Apple showed an iPhone screen (pictured above) displaying choices like "locked out," "no fuel or charge" and "flat tire." 

"The intuitive interface will guide you to connect to a satellite and share that information with a roadside assistance provider," Teoman said. "They'll message you directly and dispatch help to your exact location with the right equipment to get you moving."

For more announcements from Tuesday's Apple iPhone event, here's CNET's live blog.

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