If you have a Pixel phone, you can now use it to track when you've been in a car crash. The feature should be coming to the Pixel 4, too.
Google has quietly released an update to its Personal Safety app in the Google Play Store that includes a new car crash detection feature, XDA Developers is reporting. The site downloaded the Personal Safety app and found that in version 1.0.271601625, Google has added a new feature that allows the phone to detect a car crash and automate the 911 calling process. It's only available in the U.S., according to the description.
Of course, actually testing out the feature might be difficult, so it's impossible to say whether the feature works on all Pixel devices or only specific versions. Considering Google's Personal Safety app doesn't list out which phones it works for, however, it may work on any Pixel device you have.
That said, XDA Developers said that the new app version hasn't been downloaded to anyone else's phone in the office, which might suggest that the feature is designed solely for the Pixel 4 and Google mistakenly released it to some users.
According to the app, Google's service uses location and sensor information from the Pixel phone's accelerometer and microphone to determine whether a car crash has occurred. If it has, an alert will be sounded asking if those involved in the crash are in need of help. If they say they're fine, Google's service will cancel the alarm. If there's no response or a request for help, the service will automatically dial 911 and provide the phone's location.
The feature is a potentially important one for keeping people safe. In serious car crashes, people may be incapacitated or unable to call for help. Google's feature, if it works, aims at addressing that and getting emergency services to the scene of the accident.
But at least so far, Google hasn't confirmed the feature even exists. So, perhaps we'll learn more about it later this month at the company's Pixel 4 event.