Troubleshooting is a valuable new security feature that has arrived with the new iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, and SE 2 lineup. But even though Apple uses entirely new hardware, an advanced algorithm, and more than a million hours of data downtime, false positives are still possible. As it turns out, the rollercoaster caused a number of false 911 automatic calls by tricking Apple’s Crash Detection. Here’s what happens and a workaround until there is an update.
According to a report by Joanna Stern and Coaster101 of WSJ, in the past several weeks, Kings Island and Dollywood theme parks have noticed an emerging trend of customers using the new iPhone 14 or Apple Watch.
Kings Island has experienced faulty roller coaster malfunctions in the park at least six different times.
Dollywood has seen the problem enough that they put up signs telling people not to bring devices while riding or to turn them off.
Interestingly, some unofficial Apple crash tests are having trouble turning on the security feature. But it turns out that the roller coaster has important attributes to deceive the algorithm that takes into account measurements of acceleration force, pressure changes, GPS/speed changes, and loud noises.
You can listen to the automated 911 call of one of the roller coasters that Joanna spoke about:
An Apple spokesperson told Joanna that Crash Detection is “extremely accurate in detecting critical incidents” and that the company has improved it to get users help while reducing false positives. “
In response to questions about roller coasters spoofing the feature, the spokesperson said, “The technology provides peace of mind, and Apple will continue to improve it over time.”
iPhone 14 Roller coaster fix
A Dollywood sign that asks customers not to bring devices in during the ride is unlikely to be followed, and even turning off the devices can be a problem. So…
- Airplane mode is on The best way to prevent false positives is to detect faults on the coasters
- Especially if you intend to ride on and off all day, a quick tap on Airplane mode for your new iPhone 14 and Apple Watch is the most convenient option.
The roller coasters causing malfunctions seem to come as no surprise to Apple but they did the best they could given all the factors.
However, with Google’s fault detection feature available for several years, there don’t seem to be many cases that are triggered by roller coasters.
I wonder if this could be resolved with a geofence update – which Apple could know if a user is in a theme park and ignore roller coaster measurements. But maybe there are some privacy issues at play that Apple doesn’t want to compromise about Google?
We will be looking for anything in iPhone and Apple Watch updates that can bring an official fix for this problem.
Top image via David Traña on Unsplash
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