Technology

YouTuber Wrecks Car to Test New iPhone 14 Pro Crash Detection

While the highly anticipated “Apple Car” wasn’t unveiled at the tech giant’s recent livestream event, Apple did debut the new iPhone 14. Some critics thought the iPhone 14 was too similar to the previous model — which iPhone didn’t? but one new feature that caught our eye is the crash detection feature. Apple touts that the new iPhone 14 uses its GPS and accelerometer to detect if the user has been in a car accident. If the iPhone 14 detects delay corresponding to a car accident, a prompt will appear on the screen, and if the user does not ignore the prompt within 10 seconds, the iPhone will automatically call emergency services.

It’s one of those features that sounds really great, but also one you’d hope you never have to use. Since crash detection is also a bit of an edge-case feature, there isn’t really an easy way to tell if it actually works. Apple has said that if you just drop your iPhone 14 on the floor or throw it across the room, the crash detection feature will not activate. No, you really would have to be in a car accident to have a chance to take the test; one YouTuber took up the challenge, if that’s the way to put it, and even crashed a vehicle with the iPhone in it to see if crash detection works. The video is doing the rounds after it surfaced Digital trends.

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YouTuber “TechRax” and his collaborators put the iPhone 14’s crash detection feature to the test so that, in his words, they could see if crash detection “really worked” or if it was “just a scam.” For the test, TechRax and his group rigged up a late 90s Mercury Grand Marquis — essentially a Ford Crown Victoria with a different skin — to drive without a human in the car.

It appears they used straps to connect a cordless skateboard electric motor to the Mercury’s throttle so they could accelerate the car remotely, though it also appears they had no provisions for a braking device. Taking the car into the field, along with the grenades from some burned-out and otherwise dilapidated, non-driving vehicles, TechRax stuck a brand new iPhone 14 Pro to the Mercury’s interior, then tried to ram it into the other car’s shells.

On the first try, the Mercury just clipped a rusted chassis and looked like it would run into a power pylon – remember, no brakes! – but luckily it eventually stopped. After a reset and adding more car skeletons to the mix, TechRax managed to crash the Mercury twice more, with each successive hit being more violent and direct than the last. Each time, as promised, the crash detection function kicked in.

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While we don’t approve of what TechRax did here, as it was hardly the “professional” setup claimed in the video, and no one should be actively trying to enable crash detection at home, at least the whole exercise took place in a largely empty- looking at space. More importantly, it seems that the iPhone 14’s crash-detection system not only works, but can also distinguish between really serious accidents and minor fender benders – after all, the system didn’t go all the way off after the first, seeing a crash that barely made the cut. Mercury signal lens cracked.

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