iOS 16.3.1 includes iPhone 14 Crash Detection changes after false positive complaints


Over the last several months, the iPhone 14’s new Crash Detection feature has made headlines for false positives that have inundated 911 call centers. To help combat that, Apple says that today’s release of iOS 16.3.1 includes further optimizations for Crash Detection…

Most recently, a report from The New York Times included a handful of stories about Crash Detection being falsely triggered by skiers in Colorado. This report was particularly harsh, with quotes from first responders expressing frustration with how false Crash Detection calls are impacting their ability to do their jobs.

Some first responders have gone as far as to ask iPhone users to disable Crash Detection altogether due to the influx of false positives. Crash Detection has also been falsely triggered on rollercoasters, prompting some amusement parks to put up signs telling riders to leave their iPhones behind.

At the same time, however, Crash Detection has already helped save the lives of iPhone 14 users who actually got into a car wreck. Apple has a tricky balance to strike between making sure the feature properly detects real car crashes while minimizing false positives.

Apple’s fix for Crash Detection false positives

Crash Detection on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro uses G-force sensors combined with other data to detect a crash. Apple has described it as a “pretty dynamic algorithm,” and it’s been working to refine that algorithm as it learns more about Crash Detection in the real world.

iOS 16.1.2, released back in November 2022, included what Apple described as “Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.” This change was largely in response to early stories about Crash Detection being triggered on rollercoasters.

With today’s release of iOS 16.3.1, Apple has more changes in store for Crash Detection. The company is once again vague in its release notes: “Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.”

Apple has been collecting feedback from call centers impacted by Crash Detection false positives. The company has even sent engineers and other representatives to observe affected teams. The hope is that iOS 16.3.1 will solve, or at least dramatically help, the problem of Crash Detection false positives – whether that turns out to be true remains to be seen.

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