Back in May, the Beta 3 of Android 10, preliminarily called Android Q, gave us a teaser of a car crash detection feature for Pixel phones. Months later, the feature has now been confirmed by Google, although accidentally.
According to XDA Developers, Google recently pushed out an update to the built-in Emergency Information app, renaming it as "Personal Safety". While the update doesn't yet bring the car crash detection feature, the re-branded app's description and screenshots in the Play Store, which appear to be posted prematurely, confirms the existence of such a feature for Pixel phones. Whether the feature will be just for the Pixel 4 or for all Pixel devices is not known yet.
The updated description on Google Play says that "Personal Safety is an app for Pixel phones that helps you stay safe and connected to first responders and your emergency contacts."
Car crash detection for Pixel phones
According to the screenshots from the Play Store listing, your Pixel will automatically dial 911 if it detects a crash. Initially, it'll vibrate and loudly sound an alarm, asking you if you need help. If there's no response, it will automatically call 911 and provide your location to emergency services. Car crash detection will be available in the US only.
Additional features of the Personal Safety app include the ability to quickly share your location and a custom message to multiple contacts. This will help users silently tell someone about their current situation. You can also manage your emergency information, including medications and emergency contacts. By default, this info will be available when the phone is locked to help first responders.
How does car crash detection work?
Google says Personal Safety uses the handset's location, motion sensors, and the surrounding sound from the microphone to figure out if an accident has occurred. The company, however, warns that some high-impact activities might also activate car crash detection. So you might occasionally need to tap "I'm OK" to stop a false-trigger an emergency call.
If you tap "I'm OK", the app will ask you what happened. You can pick between no crash or minor crash. Google will use this data to improve the car crash detection feature.
Google is yet to officially announce the re-branding of the Emergency Information app as Personal Safety. In fact, the company has removed the app from Play Store altogether, suggesting that the rollout was accidental. The Personal Safety app is likely to debut with the Pixel 4 before expanding to older Pixel devices. Pixel 4 launches on October 15 at Google's annual hardware event in New York City.