The idea is simple. When the sensors inside your iPhone detect a sudden effect, the screen lights up and a prompt appears asking the user if they need emergency assistance. If the user does not respond within 20 seconds, an SOS call will be made to the emergency services, complete with the scene of the accident.
However, a false alarm can be a very painful experience for your family members and friends who receive the ominous alert. Director Douglas Saunders learned it the hard way when his iPhone 14 Pro Max fell while riding his motorcycle at 60 mph and was run over by other vehicles.
I activated my temporary phone and had voicemails from my mom, gf and business partner who panicked thinking I was dead and were looking for me. thank you @apple Collision alert is working, sadly I scared my family from hell
And the[مدش]. Douglas Saunders (douglassonders) September 18, 2022
Explaining the ordeal in Jalopnik’s article, Saunders revealed that his bike “crashed” while cruising at high speed, and as a result, the phone “flew off” from the handlebars. Sonders did not find it reasonable to search for his iPhone on a busy highway.
However, the sudden shock of being pulled out of the bike rack and run over appears to have triggered the car crash detection system. Naturally, the device reached the police as a measure to help in emergency situations. But that was not all.
“It appears my phone is texting everyone listed as ‘family’ in my contacts, telling them I’ve been in a car accident,” Saunders wrote. Recalling the horrific turn of events in a Twitter thread, Saunders stated that his family was concerned about the illness and his partner embarked on a panicked campaign to help him, assuming he had an accident.
“I terrified my loved ones almost to death when I was completely fine – and worst of all, I had no idea anyone would receive this horrifying message,” Saunders added.
Obviously, the car crash detection feature, while a life saver, still needs some fine-tuning. However, this is not the first time that an Apple product has sent a false alarm and alarmed users.
The Wall Street Journal reported false alarms going off about an AirTag nearby when none were actually found. There are also complaints about false positives from Find My in the official Apple Community forum. Apple’s own research has highlighted the chances of false positives being sent through the controversial CSAM detection system.