The new Apple Watch Series 8 features an improved gyroscope and accelerometer that can detect if you are involved in a car accident. This was one of many announcements from Apple’s event on Wednesday in Cupertino, California, where the company unveiled its latest technical and service innovations.
Google has long offered traffic accident detection on select Pixel smartphone models, and the new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone 14 Pro have it. But the Series 8 is one, if not the only, smartwatch on the market with this feature.
Traffic accident detection on the 8 Series – which was rumored at the end of last year – is enabled by a new three-axis gyroscope and “high-g-force” accelerometer that samples data four times faster than the generation previous (and up to 256 G of force). Leveraging an algorithm running on the device, along with the barometer, the 8 Series can detect accidents in most types of vehicles and automatically notify contacts and emergency services if the user doesn’t respond within 10 seconds, he said. Apple.
Apple explains it thus in a press release:
To create the [crash detection] algorithm, data was collected from these new motion sensors in professional crash test labs with common passenger cars in simulated real-world crashes, including head-ons, rear-end collisions, side impacts and rollovers.
In addition to motion data, shock detection uses the barometer, GPS and microphone turned on [a paired] iPhone as input to detect unique patterns which can indicate if a serious accident has occurred … When a serious car accident is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on the Apple Watch, as it is very likely that it is more close to the user, while the call is made via iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.
Apple reportedly used data shared anonymously by iPhone and Apple Watch users to develop the aforementioned algorithm. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple leveraged a dataset of more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts to improve the accuracy of the crash detection system, by matching crash data with calls to emergency health services, as crashes are more likely associated with calls to emergency services are legitimate.