The next version of Android Q is currently in development with regular beta releases appearing for early adopters. The latest beta release has revealed an interesting new feature in the form of car crash detection by your smartphone.
As XDA Developers reports, Android Q Beta 3 was launched during the Google I/O 2019 event last week. Since then, the code has been delved into to see what’s new, and one feature that’s being tested takes the form of an app called “Safety Hub.”
Further investigation reveals Google is attempting to get Android devices to detect when a car crash has occurred, it’s also set to be a Pixel-exclusive feature if it makes it out of beta. This is confirmed by the Manifest declaration for the app, which includes “PIXEL_EXPERIENCE” in the Android name field.
What’s unclear right now is how Google is getting a smartphone to specifically detect a car crash has occurred. What combination of sensor data could detect such a scenario with 100 percent accuracy? I’d guess Android Q could easily tell when you are traveling in a vehicle based on GPS data and speed. It could also easily detect an impact, or sudden stop, or unusual movement such as the phone being flipped. Bringing all of that together may be enough to expertly detect an accident.
The other question to ask is, what’s the point of Safety Hub? If Google can confidently detect a car accident, the app could be directed to contact the emergency services automatically. In turn, Safety Hub would react faster than anyone in the accident as well as those who come to their aid. In other words, if Google gets this right, it could save lives.
This article originally published at PCMag here
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