Google accidentally rolls out “Personal Safety” app, confirming car crash detection is coming to the Pixel
Back in May, we discovered changes to the Emergency Information app that hinted at Google adding automatic car crash detection to Pixel smartphones. We haven’t heard any new information about this feature since then, and it hasn’t appeared in any of the numerous Pixel 4 leaks this past month. However, Google updated the built-in Emergency Information app on my Pixel 2 XL today, rebranding it in version 1.0.271601625.release as “Personal Safety.” The Play Store’s app description confirms that car crash detection will be made available for Pixel devices in the United States, though it’s unclear if it’ll be made available for all Pixel devices or only the Pixel 4 series.
Here’s the updated description on Google Play:
Google says that your phone will automatically dial 911 if it detects you’re in a car crash, using your location and sensor readings from the accelerometer and microphone to detect when a car crash has occurred. When your phone thinks you’re in a car crash, it’ll vibrate and play a sound at maximum volume, asking you if you need help. If you don’t respond, Pixel will automatically dial 911 and provide your location. Here’s the demo provided in the app that shows you the steps involved to call 911 or report that you’re okay:
Another new feature mentioned in the changelog is the ability to quickly share your emergency status with your contacts. You can send your location and a custom message about your current situation to multiple contacts.
I downloaded the update on my Pixel 2 XL, but I don’t see the car crash detection or emergency status sharing feature shown in the screenshots submitted to the Play Store. I also don’t see an announcement on the official Google blog, but it’s possible that Google is preparing an announcement shortly. So far, I’m the only person to have received this update, possibly due to the numerous tweaks I’ve made to my device, which leads me to believe that this is an intended feature for the Pixel 4.
Apart from that, I did notice that the app has been slightly redesigned and now includes settings to show or hide your emergency info from the lock screen. Here are some screenshots:
More screenshots. There’s supposed to be a video demo but it crashes when I tap on it. pic.twitter.com/je0wlUqbXH
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 30, 2019
Google recently announced another U.S.-only emergency feature that lets you send important information to emergency responders without having to actually talk. We’re hoping the company makes these features available for Pixel owners in other countries, but Google is known to take its time in rolling out features globally.
You can download the latest version of the app from the Play Store link below. We’ll update this article if we learn more about the rollout of these new features, but do let us know if you see any of these new features on your own Pixel device.
This article was updated at 6:52 PM EST to add more details about how I received this update, and to further expand on my belief that this feature may be launching on the Pixel 4.
This title of this article was updated at 7:27 PM EST to reflect that this rollout was likely accidental.