In a groundbreaking move, Apple has announced the launch of Roadside Assistance via satellite, a new service available exclusively on the iPhone 15. In collaboration with AAA, this service aims to provide customers with access to help even in areas where there is no cell signal.
Apple’s introduction of Roadside Assistance via satellite with the iPhone 15 showcases their ongoing commitment to providing innovative and reliable emergency services. This new feature allows users to request roadside assistance in areas with no cellular coverage, potentially bringing peace of mind to iPhone owners facing unexpected vehicle issues.
New and Improved Emergency SOS and Find My via Satellite Features
Apple’s Roadside Assistance via satellite builds upon the success of the Emergency SOS and Find My via satellite features introduced with the iPhone 14 and recent Apple Watch models. These features, now available in 14 countries with plans for expansion, allow users to connect with emergency services and locate their devices even in remote locations.
With Roadside Assistance via satellite, iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 users can choose from a range of scenarios such as being locked out, running out of fuel or charge, or experiencing a flat tire. By sending a text message to an AAA operator, users can request immediate assistance regardless of their cellular coverage.
Seamless Connection and Reliable Help
The new Roadside Assistance interface will guide users through the process of connecting to a satellite and sharing their details with a roadside assistance provider. Using GPS location and other data, the provider will dispatch help equipped with the necessary tools to assist with the specific issue at hand.
While the reliable functioning of this service remains to be seen in practice, Apple’s commitment to providing effective satellite-based emergency services is evident. Unlike other companies relying on cell towers to establish a satellite connection, Apple’s Roadside Assistance uses Globalstar technology and requires a specialized antenna.
Factors such as weather conditions and physical obstructions, like mountains and steep hills, may influence the success of the satellite lock-on process. However, Apple’s investment of $450 million into expanding the infrastructure supporting Emergency SOS, Find My via satellite, and now Roadside Assistance via satellite suggests a dedication to overcoming these challenges.
Availability and Pricing
Roadside Assistance via satellite will initially be available only in the United States. It will be free for iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 users who have been AAA members for at least two years. Non-members can also access the service on a pay-per-use basis.
It is worth noting that customers who purchase iPhones in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macao will not have access to Emergency SOS, Find My via satellite, or Roadside Assistance via satellite due to geo-locking limitations.