At Google I/O this year, the company behind Android revealed many new and exciting things coming to the next iteration of the world's most popular mobile OS. These include native support for foldable devices, system-wide Dark Mode, Smart Replies and Suggestions, and a handful of other features, all of which you can read about here
But aside from those, savvy developers have uncovered something else that's coming with Android Q, and it wasn't mentioned at this year's I/O. The folks over at XDA
have found lines of code in the Android Q Beta 3, referencing a possible automatic car crash detection feature. The beta has an app called Safety Hub
, and strings of code within the app suggest that automatic car crash detection is coming to Android Q, and that it may also be a Pixel
Google is no stranger to introducing Pixel-exclusive features, though they've been more on the "bonus" side of things, so to speak. Two prominent examples are the excellent Night Sight mode, baked into the Google camera app, and unlimited Google Photos storage for original quality photo backups, available only to Pixel phone owners. However, more essential features have always managed to make their way into Android skins by other OEMs, so the upcoming car crash detection may start as a Pixel-exclusive thing and become more widely available thereafter.
It's currently unclear how Android Q will detect car crashes, though it's likely going to happen by gathering data from various sensors on the phone. For example, Google could use GPS data to determine whether you're driving, use the accelerometer to detect when a violent stop occurs, and even rely on the microphone to pick up the sound of the crash. After an accident has been detected, the Safety Hub app could automatically alert emergency services and/or select contacts.
We have our fingers crossed that future Android Q betas will reveal more about this potentially lifes-aving feature, and that it won't be Pixel-exclusive forever.