When a user is outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, they can contact roadside assistance company AAA for vehicle service by using the roadside assistance via satellite feature available on all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models starting with iOS 17. Tech reviewer Brian Tong demonstrated the functionality of the feature in a video that was uploaded today.
Open the Messages app and start a new message to take advantage of the feature. Then enter “roadside” in the address box. There will be a “Roadside Assistance” option available if there is no available Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. Connect your iPhone to a Globalstar satellite by tapping on “Roadside Assistance” and following the on-screen instructions to send a AAA help request. Apple states that you must be outside with an unobstructed view of the sky and horizon.
Tong used AAA to jump-start his car’s battery in order to demonstrate the feature. In addition, the feature can be utilized for other AAA services, running out of gas, having a flat tire, and being locked out of your car.
When a new iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 model is activated, the feature is free for two years, with service covered in accordance with your AAA membership plan. You can still pay for each use of the service if you’re not a AAA member.
Apple has not disclosed any specifics, but it did say that roadside assistance via satellite is available “beginning” in the United States, implying that it will gradually expand the feature to other countries. There is an organization called CAA that is similar to AAA in Canada, so it would make sense for the service to eventually spread there.
The Emergency SOS via satellite feature is expanded to include roadside assistance. Recently, Apple announced that the satellite features would remain free for an extra year.