New Apple iPhone 15 Offers Satellite-Based Roadside Assistance With AAA

When the Apple iPhone 14 launched last year it introduced a new SOS satellite feature that allows the user to contact emergency services even if they are in a remote location that is lacking cellular service. It seemed like a novel idea, but also tailor made for the adventurer set that regularly spend their time in the wilderness on hiking and camping excursions and less useful for the everyday user.  Though with the reveal of the new Apple iPhone 15, a tweak has been made to the service that makes it much more practical.

Apple is bringing roadside assistance to the iPhone 15 via a new partnership with AAA (featured around the 50 minute mark in the video from the tech company embedded above). The satellite functionality will allow AAA to find the user even if they're in an area with poor or non-existent cellular service.  All the user has to do is text a "roadside assistance" number and they'll be presented with a short questionnaire asking what they need assistance with. For example the user can choose "Flat Tire," and "Locked Out" among other options. There's even a "No Fuel or Charge" option for those times when you push your EV battery just a little too far (if you're curious where our Rivian image came from).

The messages are sent via satellite and AAA can message back to the user and dispatch directly to find the user's exact location. The Apple iPhone 15 roadside assistance service via satellite will be included free for two years. Apple says that the service is covered according to AAA membership but is also available separately for non-members. Currently, there is no word from Apple if the feature will also come to the iPhone 14 which also has satellite functionality.

This is the second major automotive assistance feature Apple has added to an iPhone within the last year. The first was the crash detection function that was introduced with the iPhone 14 and Series 8 Apple Watch. The devices used their GPS and accelerometers to detect if the user had been in an accident and could automatically contact first responders unless prompted not to. As you can imagine for a first generation feature, there were some hiccups. For example, some Apple Watch owners found that the crash detection feature would go off when they were on a rollercoaster. You also had the obligatory YouTuber testing the iPhone's crash detection by literally crashing a car on purpose. The crash detection feature returns to the iPhone 15; hopefully with some tweaks to reduce any mishaps.

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We can already see the gaping mouth thumbnails of the next car influencer video who drives out to the middle of a desert and times how long it takes AAA to get to them. Also, for the record, please don't do that when you get your iPhone 15.


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