Personal Safety app with car crash detection coming to Pixel 4

Google’s Pixel 4 smartphones are just around the corner. Various leaks have shown that they will have a new design, dual cameras on the back, motion sensing, and other exciting features. Google has used its expertise in software to set the Pixel phones apart from other Android handsets. According to a new leak, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL devices will get Google’s new Personal Safety app that can detect car crashes and inform the emergency services.

Personal Safety app coming to Google Pixel 4 Phones

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

How will the Personal Safety app work?

According to XDA Developers, Google has accidentally posted a Play Store listing, which includes screenshots of how the Personal Safety app would work. A few months ago, Google’s Emergency Information app had hinted that the company could add car crash detection capability to Pixel smartphones.

XDA Developers contributor Mishaal Rahman said the company has updated the Emergency Information app on his Pixel 2 XL to version 1.0.271601625. It’s been rebranded as ‘Personal Safety.’ The Play Store listing describes it as an app “for Pixel phones that helps [users] stay safe and connected to first responders and emergency contacts.”

The feature will be rolled out to Pixel phones in the United States. However, it’s not yet known whether it would be exclusive to Pixel 4 handsets or would be available on all Pixel devices. Google tends to keep new features exclusive to the latest models for a few months before rolling them out to other devices.

The Personal Safety app will use your Pixel phone’s location, motion sensors, microphone, accelerometer, and other sensors to detect if an accident has occurred. Some high-impact activities could also trigger the crash detection feature, but you’ll have the option to tell it that you are OK.

When the app detects an accident, it will sound a loud alarm asking you if you need any help. It will ask twice, and if there’s still no response, it will automatically call 911 and send your location to the emergency services. If you tap “I’m OK,” it won’t call the emergency services. Instead, it will ask whether it was a minor crash or no crash, which would help the app improve its detection accuracy over time.

The app will also allow you to share your emergency status with your contacts by sending them a custom message and your location. This would be particularly useful when you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Mishaal Rahman wrote that the app has been redesigned, giving you the option to choose whether you want to show or hide your emergency information from the lock screen.

The feature appears to be similar to Fall Detection on Apple Watch, which has saved dozens of lives. Apple’s Fall Detection can detect when you have fallen over. Upon detecting a hard fall, the Watch sends you a notification, which you can dismiss or use to initiate a 911 call. If you remain immobile for 60 seconds after the hard fall, the Watch automatically calls the emergency services. It also sends a message along with your location to emergency contacts.

The Personal Safety app on Pixel 4 could also help save lives. Last year alone, about 40,000 people died in road accidents in the US.

Other rumored Pixel 4 features

Google is set to unveil the Pixel 4 smartphones at its annual hardware event on October 15th. It is also expected to announce a new Pixelbook 2 and smart home speakers at the event. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL would have several new software features. They would run Android 10 out of the box, which brings a system-wide Dark Mode, better privacy controls, a new Focus Mode, Live Caption, and Smart Reply.

The new Pixel phones would also have a Hold My Phone feature. It would use AI and machine learning to allow Google Assistant to take over a call when the other side puts you on hold. Google Assistant will transfer the call back to you when an actual human answers. You will have to tap a button on the screen to activate Hold My Phone. It would allow you to shift your focus to more important tasks instead of listening to the same “Your call is very important to us” message again and again for several minutes.

Google is also said to add a new “Reach to check phone” feature that activates the display when your hand hovers over the screen to show time, notifications, and other information. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL would also have a new 3D facial recognition similar to Apple’s Face ID. The devices will also allow you to control music playback and perform other actions by swiping your finger in the air, thanks to Google’s Project Soli technology.

According to various leaks, Pixel 4 would sport a 5.7-inch OLED display while its bigger sibling would get a 6.3-inch OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. Both models would offer 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. They both will have a dual-camera setup on the back. The devices will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 or the latest Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.