Apple’s 2022-released Emergency SOS and Crash Detection features have saved triggered several fake alerts in the past.
Soon after release, the Crash Detection feature reported false positives while users were on a roller coaster. It was also discovered that Crash Detection sometimes gives false positives when the user participates in winter sports like skiing. For reference, on one of the false alarms, an iPhone stashed in the glove box of a snowmobile in British Columbia’s backcountry alerted authorities, and an exhaustive search involving the RCMP and a helicopter ensued. It’s estimated the search cost Canadian tax payer’s roughly $10,000.
However, the feature has also been helpful in saving those who actually needed help.
Earlier this year, the Emergency SOS feature helped two Canadian women who got lost while making their way to Alberta. An accident on their original route caused them to take a detour through the Holmes Forest Service Road, where they got stuck in the snow. While just last month, the feature helped an injured hiker get help while there was no service on her device.
Now, on Friday, July 21st, the feature helped a person from California who drove his car off a cliff in an area with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the person drove off a cliff in the Mt. Wilson area, and fell more than 121m (400ft) before his car came to a halt.
RESCUE: At 10:51pm on Fri we were alerted to a car 400’ over a cliff by the driver’s iPhone 14 crash detection. Location was Mt Wilson Rd. After locating him we guided in an @LACoFireAirOps copter. Suffered head trauma. @LASDHQ @CVLASD @KCBSKCALDesk @NBCLA @ABC7 @FOXLA @cnnbrk pic.twitter.com/jXdpuDL7Hk
— Mike Leum (@Resqman) July 22, 2023
As shared by the publication, Crescenta Valley Station of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department received an alert about the crash from an iPhone Communications center.
According to one of the rescuers, Mike Leum, the driver of the car was injured and bleeding from the head. “I believe that if we didn’t have that good location information in a timely manner, he probably would’ve bled out,” Leum said. “I kept telling him how lucky he was.”
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was used to lower rescuers and rescue the injured man. “The location that we got from the iPhone activation was spot on,” said Steve Goldsworthy, the Rescue Operations Leader of Montrose Search and Rescue. “It was basically his phone on its own, calling for help on his behalf.”
Source: CBS Los Angeles