Apple has unveiled a new feature aimed at enhancing driver safety with the introduction of Satellite Roadside Assistance for iPhone users. This feature is an expansion of the safety suite introduced with the iPhone 14 series, which already allowed users to contact emergency services via satellite.
The Satellite Roadside Assistance feature allows iPhone users to easily access assistance in non-life-threatening scenarios, such as being locked out of their vehicles, running out of fuel, experiencing flat tires, or encountering other issues. Users do not need a working cellular signal or Wi-Fi to contact roadside assistance vendors, as the feature utilizes satellites to connect with service providers. Additionally, users can share their current location with the assistance provider, making it easier to receive help no matter where they are.
Unlike other services that rely on cell towers to connect to satellites, Apple’s system utilizes specialized antennas to connect with Globalstar satellites, ensuring a more reliable and efficient connection.
To access the Roadside Assistance via Satellite feature, users with compatible iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 models can utilize a dedicated interface. Similar to the Emergency SOS feature, users will be guided through the process of connecting their iPhones to a satellite. Once connected, the roadside assistance provider can directly message the user to gather information about the type of assistance required.
Apple has announced that the satellite-based feature will be offered as a free service to iPhone 15 users for two years after the purchase date. Initially, roadside assistance will be provided through a partnership with AAA, exclusive to customers in the United States. Although connecting with a roadside assistance provider is free for the initial two years, users will still need to pay for the specific services provided, according to AAA.
While the Roadside Assistance via Satellite feature is currently only available in the U.S., there is potential for Apple to expand its availability to other regions and countries in the future. Apple may also consider incorporating additional functionality, such as the ability to call or text other iPhone users via satellite for an additional fee.
With these new features, Apple continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of its users, no matter where they are or what they are doing.