Google’s Pixel phones will soon be able to detect car accidents. The company is reportedly developing a new app called Personal Safety, which will be capable of figuring out when a user is involved in a crash and automatically alert first responders as well as emergency contacts on their behalf.
As per XDA Developers, which originally spotted the Play Store listing that Google published prematurely, Personal Safety will rely on a number of factors to work.
In addition to the speed changes of a vehicle abruptly coming to a halt and location data, the app will listen to “ambient audio” from the microphone to supposedly stay on the lookout for harsh noises such as collisions.
Amazon takes a similar approach with its Alexa Guard tool, which can detect break-ins through sounds of broken windows and glass when you’re away.
Once Personal Safety establishes that a car crash has occurred, it sounds a loud alarm and waits for a response from you for a few seconds. If you fail to dismiss the alert and select the “I’m OK” option, the app will call 911 and share your location info. On top of that, Personal Safety can inform your close contacts and place your emergency details such as medical data on the lock screen for first responders.
Personal Safety has a handful of other handy features. One of them allows you to ring 911 and silently send them your location and emergency type by pressing an automated button. The option can prove useful in critical events such as robberies and uncomfortable cab rides.
Thousands of car accidents take place in the U.S. alone every year. If Google’s Personal Safety manages to do what it says in critical situations, it could save numerous lives by sending emergency dispatches when the victim is incapacitated. Earlier this month, Uber launched a similar feature called RideCheck, a system that can detect unusual events such as crashes and long stops. However, Google’s offering won’t be limited to cab rides.
The Personal Safety app is expected to debut on October 15 during Google’s annual hardware event. The Play Store listing suggests it will be limited to the United States and Google’s own line of phones, at least initially.