A few weeks before the official Pixel 4 announcement, a new, Personal Safety app has been listed on the Play Store(but you can’t actually install the app), with a car crash detection feature. The Android Q beta had an app called “Emergency Information” app, which has seemingly been renamed to Personal Information.
The app has many other features, like the ability to contact emergency services without actually calling them. You just enter your information into the app while setting it up, and it sends the information to the emergency service on tap. Additionally, there’s also a feature where you can silently message contact and share your location with them without any notifications or sounds so people around you aren’t alerted.
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Car Crash Detection
But the most important feature of this new app is, of course, the crash detection. The app uses its accelerometer and other sensor readings to detect if the user is in a car crash. If it does detect a crash, the app alerts the user at maximum volume and asks whether it’s okay. The user has the ability to say that they are okay, or alternatively to call medical, fire or police services. If there is no response from the user, the app automatically sends location and personal information to 911.
Google is not the first company to release a feature like this. Recently, Uber released its RideCheck, which performs a similar function, although that only works during an Uber ride, while this new app by Google will work all the time.
For right now, the feature will most likely be available only in the US, although hopefully, it comes to other countries in the future. Something that helps people in accidents get help faster is always a good thing.
Car crash detection may be exclusive to Pixel phones
The play store listing describes the app as “Personal Safety is an app for Pixel Phones to…”, which suggests that the feature may be exclusive to Pixel phones. If true, this would be a serious mistake by Google. While it is not a terrible thing to add exclusive features to sell more hardware, something like this ought to be in as many devices as possible. Hopefully, Google rolls it out to as many users as possible.