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iPhone 14 Reportedly Dialing 911 During Roller Coaster Rides

The handset's Crash Detection feature is apparently misinterpreting the wild movements as car accidents.

The iPhone 14 Pro.
The iPhone 14 Pro.
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The iPhone 14's new Crash Detection feature, which is intended to automatically alert emergency personnel when it calculates that it's been in a car accident, is reportedly experiencing its own accident on roller coasters by unintentionally dialing 911.

The feature, introduced at Apple's product event in early September, uses an axis gyroscope and high G-force accelerometer to detect four main types of crashes: front, side, rear-end and rollover crashes. If the sensors detect an impact, the feature will automatically connect the person wearing it to emergency services. If the wearer doesn't dismiss the call within 20 seconds, an audio message informs emergency services of the crash and provides its location. The feature is part of Apple's increased focus on safety features in its mobile products.

But that feature seems to have created a bit of a headache for emergency personnel near Cincinnati's Kings Island amusement park who have received six iPhone crash-detection calls since the iPhone 14 went on sale in mid-September, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Similar alerts have been received from passengers on a roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago.

Also available on the Apple Watch Series 8, the feature's machine learning takes information collected by the sensors, as well as others like the watch's GPS and microphone to determine if there's been a crash. It was trained on more than 1 billion hours of driving and crash data. But the feature is intended to operate only when someone is in or on a vehicle, Apple said.

This doesn't mean you should avoid roller coasters if you have the new iPhone or the Apple Watch. You can avoid the accidental calls by temporarily putting the device on airplane mode or disabling the feature in settings.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.