iPhone 15 series of smartphones was launched on Tuesday with a handful of noteworthy hardware upgrades over the company’s previous models. At its ‘Wonderlust’ launch event, Apple announced a new feature that expands the functionality of the ‘Emergency SOS via satellite’ feature that was introduced with the iPhone 14 series of smartphones last year. Dubbed ‘Roadside Assistance via satellite’, it will let iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 owners seek assistance when their car breaks down and they have no cellular connectivity.
Apple announced the Roadside Assistance via satellite feature during its September launch event while unveiling the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. The firm explained that the feature is designed to help iPhone owners who are locked out of their vehicle or have car troubles like running out of fuel or charge, or a flat tyre, in areas where cellular network coverage or Wi-Fi access are unavailable.
The company has partnered with the American Automobile Association (AAA) to provide assistance to iPhone owners in the US. Customers don’t need to have a AAA membership and pricing information will be detailed on the smartphone before AAA dispatches roadside assistance, according to Apple’s support page that was published shortly after the launch event.
In order for Roadside Assistance via satellite to work, Apple says that you need to be outdoors and have a clear view of the sky and the horizon, similar to the Emergency SOS via satellite feature introduced last year with the iPhone 14 series of smartphones.
Apple’s support page says that you must tap the New Message button and type “Roadside” in the address field to see a Roadside Assistance option show up when you have no cellular network or Wi-Fi coverage. By following the on-screen instructions and providing the required details, you can request help using the Roadside Assistance via satellite feature.
At the moment, the feature only works in the US (except the US Virgin Islands) but Apple states that international travellers in the US can also use the feature while they are in the country, unless they purchased their iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 in Armenia, Belarus, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, according to the company.