Ford has long championed innovative safety features ahead of other automakers, even patenting some pretty wild ideas like an in-vehicle automated triage nurse system that’s a more advanced version of Ford’s existing 911 Assist system, which can automatically call for help if a vehicle is involved in an accident. However, the debut of the all-new Apple iPhone 14 yesterday also introduced a very similar feature to that phone lineup dubbed Crash Detection, which is quite similar to FoMoCo’s 911 Assist, which has been available in The Blue Oval’s lineup for years now.
Crash Detection in the Apple iPhone 14 uses a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs, a new high dynamic range gyroscope, a barometer, GPS, a microphone, and motion algorithms to detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their phone. This feature also works on the newest Apple Watch lineup too, with a message appearing on both screens that users can cancel if it’s triggered by accident.
Meanwhile, Ford’s 911 Assist debuted back in 2009 and is very similar in that it’s a vehicle-based, no-cost, non-subscription call-for-help system. It uses the driver’s phone – which must be paired with the vehicle’s Sync system – and operates in the background. If the vehicle is involved in an accident, the feature uses Sync’s hands-free phone capabilities to connect the driver directly with a local 911 operator through the paired phone. The feature delivers a critical voice message to operators indicating that a vehicle has been in a crash and opens the line for hands-free communication.
911 Assist can end calls if the driver is on another line when an accident occurs and then dial emergency services, and can also communicate with an operator and provide the vehicle’s coordinates if the driver is unable to speak. These two systems are obviously quite similar, though it is worth pointing out that owners must enable and set up 911 Assist for it to work properly, while the Apple iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Crash Detection is ready to go out of the box.