Dozens of Apple devices send automated crash notifications at a ski resort
Apple unveiled its latest iPhones and its Watch 8 series with the ability to send an automated call to emergency services when the device experiences a sudden shutdown, usually following a car accident.
The feature is now backfiring, as a US ski resort sent 71 crash notifications, The Colorado Sun reported. According to the Summit County 911 Center, none of those robocalls were emergencies — the skiers just stopped abruptly on the slopes without needing medical attention.
The “collision detection” and “fall detection” function of the iPhone 14 series automatically calls 911. The emergency center then calls the phone back, and if the caller does not pick up, in theory, he has been involved in an accident, which means an emergency vehicle must be dispatched.
According to Trina Dummer, acting manager of the Summit County 911 center, these calls involve “an enormous amount of resources, from dispatchers to assistants to ski patrollers,” but none of them were an actual event. emergency. Dispatchers send these robocalls over hills and snowy slopes, meaning they’re diverted from a real emergency that could save someone’s life.
Dispatchers in Grand County, Vail Police Department and Pitkin County each receive about 20 robocalls a day. They try to call each one back, but often the skiers have their phones deep in the pockets of their multi-layered clothing and can’t answer, dispatching rescuers to the iPhone’s last known location. Rescuers rarely reject these calls for help because they cannot tell what is an emergency.
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said Apple responded to dispatch supervisors, revealing it was aware of the conflict between skiers and collision detection technology, and that the Cupertino team is working on a patch.
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