iPhone users with Verizon SIMs will soon have a little more peace of mind on the roads due to a new deal with Apple's Roadside service via satellite system.
According to an updated Apple support page (found by MacRumors), Verizon has allowed iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models running iOS 17.2 or later to connect to its Roadside Assistance service when using Apple's Roadside assistance via satellite SOS feature. Currently, Apple's sole partner for this feature is AAA, which users may not be members of, or may be unable to access in certain areas.
Apple includes Emergency SOS via Satellite and Roadside Assistance via satellite connectivity for free with the purchase of an iPhone 14 and iPhone 15. Coverage lasts for three years on iPhone 14 models, thanks to a recent extension of the free period by Apple, while iPhone 15s instead get two years of free coverage.
To use the feature, users in the U.S. can type ‘Roadside Assistance’ into the contact field of a text message, and then send details of their problem to AAA (or now Verizon) to get help with a breakdown without needing a cell connection. However, the cost of the actual roadside assistance will still need to be paid to either Verizon or AAA if you're not a member.
Currently, Roadside assistance through Verizon (offered via Signature Motor Club) has a subscription cost of $4.99 a month for each line in an account. The subscription covers the cost of several services, such as battery jumpstarts and fuel delivery, However, there are restrictions on what the subscription will cover. Verizon also offers flat fees for those who do not have a subscription plan.
Apple's inclusion of satellite coverage for its SOS system has been praised by many. The feature has grown to encompass over sixteen countries and regions since its initial launch and has been confirmed to save lives in some situations. The addition of Verizon's system means that its customers will have a choice of providers for the satellite-based breakdown service, perhaps removing their need to subscribe to AAA, or to pay it one-off fees, unnecessarily.
Hopefully, more carriers and roadside assistance providers will be made available to drivers through the iPhone satellite system to make sure that everyone has the best protection available.
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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.