Google has made a splash over the last month with the launch of the new mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones. The devices have up to $600 in incentives to get users to trade in iPhone and other devices to get the new smartphone. We've talked about Android Q before with its focus on privacy and a slew of other new features coming. Google is reportedly working on another new feature for Android Q that might not come to everyone.
This feature is automatic car crash detection. References were found to the new feature in the Android Q Beta 3 Safety Hub app. A string in the app reads that the car crash detection function will "automatically launch an alert activity when the device detects you are in a car crash. Another string hidden in the app also hints that the feature will be a Pixel device exclusive.
Google is no stranger to making certain Android features exclusive to its devices. Previous Pixel only features include Night Sight among others. Creating a safety feature that is a Pixel only offering is quite different from unique camera modes. As for how Android Q might be able to recognize that the phone has been in a crash, speculation suggests that it will use GPS data to tell when you are in the car.
The accelerometer could then be used to recognize a sudden stop while the microphone could listen for the sound of a crash. Those pieces of data will likely be fed through machine learning tech to determine an accident. It's unclear how the feature would be able to tell the difference between a dropped phone and an accident to rule out false positives. If the mic is listening for the sounds of a crash, presumably that would be one way of sorting a drop from a car crash.