Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
Apple’s iPhone Adds Roadside Assistance via Satellite Feature

Apple has expanded its iPhone satellite services with the addition of Roadside Assistance via Satellite. This new feature allows drivers to request non-emergency help when they are stranded without cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Roadside Assistance via Satellite joins the previously announced Emergency SOS via Satellite feature and is available on all satellite-equipped iPhone models, including the entire iPhone 14 lineup.

Unlike Emergency SOS via Satellite, which took some time to launch, Roadside Assistance was available as soon as iOS 17 was released. However, it is currently only available in the US. Apple offers this feature at no extra charge, but the actual roadside assistance is provided by AAA, adhering to their standard membership and billing policies. Users will need to pay AAA for the service, whether they are already members or requesting a one-time service call.

Summoning roadside assistance via satellite is a straightforward process. Users simply need to open the Messages app and send a text to “Roadside Assistance” while in an area with satellite coverage. YouTuber Brian Tong recently shared a live video walkthrough of the feature, showcasing how to contact AAA via satellite for help with a dead car battery.

Although Apple provides instructions, Tong’s video provides a more detailed look at what happens after the initial request, including the text message conversation with the AAA service center, which is done via satellite.

While Roadside Assistance via Satellite is currently limited to the US, expansion to Canada is a possibility. The initial request in Tong’s video asks if he is an “AAA or CAA member,” with CAA being the Canadian Automobile Association. Canadian iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 CAA members may be able to access Roadside Assistance via Satellite when traveling in the US by setting their iPhone’s region to the United States.

Apple offers Roadside Assistance via Satellite and Emergency SOS via Satellite at no charge for two years with the purchase of any new iPhone 14 or iPhone 15. Additionally, the availability of Emergency SOS via Satellite for iPhone 14 users has been extended for an additional year. This means that compatible iPhones should have access to free satellite services until at least November 15, 2025.