A woman and her boyfriend, whose auto plunged over 300’ (91 m) into a rocky canyon in the Angeles National Forest with no cell service, were rescued thanks to a brand new set of features that alerted first responders to the incident.
Cloe Fields had recently purchased the newly introduced Apple iPhone 14 that comes with both automatic crash detection and what Apple calls Emergency SOS via Satellite.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Montrose Search and Rescue Team said that the canyon is “extremely steep” and called their survival “a miracle,” noting that his team only sees fatal crashes there.
Many modern automobiles have offered Automatic Collision (or Crash) Notification (referred to as ACN) and some now have Advanced Automatic Collision Notification. These systems use a multitude of sensors and the vehicle’s telematics system to determine when a car is involved in a moderate or severe front, rear, or side-impact crash and send the location and details of the accident to a call center, where dispatchers then contact emergency services. The newer systems can help determine whether injured drivers and passengers might need treatment at a trauma center.
The new iPhone 14 offers similar functionality.
“We truly hope you never need it but that you will feel a little bit safer every time you get in the car,” an Apple presenter said at the device’s launch event, moments before rolling a commercial where a driver gets hit by an air bag, in slow motion, after crashing.
The newest iPhones use a dual-core accelerometer, barometer, and other sensors to detect the incident and, if the user is unresponsive after a ten-second countdown, it will automayically call emergency services and share the location data. The feature relies on new algorithms Apple developed using over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data.
“It looks like you’ve been in a crash,” the iPhone display will say. “IPhone will trigger emergency SOS if you don’t respond.”
Because there was no mobile phone service, the satellite feature took over. It contacted one of Apple’s new relay centers, and that relay center then communicated the situation with first responders.
“The call center gave us an accurate latitude and longitude for the victims. Air Rescue 5 was able to locate the victims and insert a paramedic,” the sheriff’s office said. “The paramedic learned the patients, a male and female in their 20s, had mild to moderate injuries. The helicopter was able to hoist the victims out of the canyon and transport them to a local area hospital.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)