Pixel’s Car Crash Detection feature might soon make its way to other Android devices

Pixel’s Car Crash Detection feature might soon make its way to other Android devices

Google recently rolled out an update for the Personal Safety app on Pixel devices. A teardown of the latest release has revealed new strings suggesting that the Pixel-exclusive Car Crash Detection feature might soon make its way to other Android phones.

The following strings in Personal Safety v2022.05.25 (via Mishaal Rahman) clearly mention “nonpixel” in the string names, suggesting that the Car Crash Detection feature might not be a Pixel-exclusive offering for long.

crash_settings_check_user_status_body_text_nonpixel
crash_settings_emergency_alert_body_text_nonpixel
crash_settings_footnote_nonpixel

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For the unaware, the Car Crash Detection feature is currently only available on Google’s Pixel devices, and it uses the location, motion sensors, and ambient audio to detect a car crash. Once it detects a crash, it plays a loud sound and asks users if they need any help. In case of no response, it automatically dials 911 and shares your phone’s location. Interestingly, the feature works even when the Personal Safety app is not in use.

Although Google hasn’t shared any details about the rollout so far, Mishaal Rahman speculates that it might not roll out to all non-Pixel devices at once. That’s because the feature relies on a Context Hub Runtime Environment (CHRE) nanoapp, which OEMs have to compile, sign, and integrate into their software releases. Since Google currently doesn’t mandate OEMs to implement CHRE on their builds, the Car Crash Detection feature might see a limited release on some non-Pixel devices. But that could change if Google mandates CHRE implementation.

At the moment, it isn’t clear how Google plans to bring Car Crash Detection to non-Pixel devices. The company could either provide OEMs with the source code for the nanoapp or offer a precompiled version to help OEMs easily integrate it into their software releases. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as we have more details.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.

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