Apple introduced fall detection with the Watch Series 4 – the watch tracks acceleration to detect what might be a fall and can automatically call an emergency contact (with the option to cancel it if you are okay). Now the company wants to do something similar but for car crashes, reports The Wall Street Journal based on internal documents it has reviewed.
The difficult part is detecting the crash. The company has reportedly been running tests for the last year and collecting anonymous telemetry from the watches. It has detected 10 million suspected crashes and managed to pair 50,000 such incidents with subsequent calls to emergency services – if you had to call for help, then the sudden acceleration detected by the watch is more likely to have been a crash.
The Apple Watch already supports fall detection
Google did something similar a couple of years ago with the Personal Safety app for the Pixel phones. That app also considered the user’s location, as well as data from the motion sensors and microphones to decide whether or not an incident was a crash.
The next Apple Watch will probably take such things into consideration too, in order to cut down the false positive rate in detection. Yes, the next watch – according to WSJ this feature is tentatively scheduled for an introduction in 2022. It hasn’t been announced officially, however, so plans may change.
Note that Google’s crash detection is available only in select countries, this may be the case for Apple’s solution as well.