iPhone 15 can call AAA even when you're off the grid thanks to this new feature

Roadside assistance interface on iPhone 15
(Image credit: Apple/Future)
iPHONE 15: What you need to know

Apple's iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups are both now here and there is a lot to dig into, but you might have missed one of the coolest new features Apple announced during its "Wonderlust" event.

Apple has offered a potentially live-saving feature that helps people call for help even when they don't have a cellular connection ever since the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro arrived in 2022. Dubbed Emergency SOS via Satellite, the feature uses Globalstar satellites to contact first responders when no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available. And now that feature is being expanded to roadside assistance, too.

Roadside Assistance via Satellite is rolling out as part of the new iPhone's launch this month, but you don't need Apple's best iPhones to get it — the feature will be available on existing iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, too.

Limited availability

The feature will be limited at launch, as the new Roadside Assistance via Satellite is only rolling out in the United States at launch thanks to a partnership with the AAA. It's included free for two years starting from the time of purchase, although Apple does note that the AAA might charge for its services. Those who aren't already AAA members "can take advantage of Roadside Assistance via satellite on a pay-per-use basis for AAA’s roadside assistance services," Apple says.

Thankfully, actually using the feature looks easy. "An intuitive interface, including a short questionnaire to capture important details, will transmit the information via satellite so AAA can message with the user directly and dispatch help to their exact location," Apple said via press release.

As for the new iPhones, they'll be available for preorder this Friday, September 15. The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max will all be available to buy from September 22.

We're covering all the Apple iPhone 15 event news and reactions now that Wonderlust is over. Don't miss all our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, iOS 17and watchOS 10 coverage so far.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.