As Chris Panton rode home from lunch with his wife near their home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, he looked up from the passenger seat to see a truck heading toward them.
He remembers the feeling of fear when he realized the crash was imminent, followed by the smell of his car’s airbags deploying.
But then he felt something he hadn’t expected. His
After it was clear that everyone had emerged unscathed, Chris realized how lucky he was to have
Whether you’re driving home from lunch on a familiar road or exploring a new route, Car Crash Detection on Google Pixel will be there for you if things go wrong.
When you enable this safety feature, Pixel automatically detects if you have been in a severe accident and gives you the option to call 911. If you’re unable to respond, Pixel jumps into action and contacts emergency services with your location.1
It’s easy. Just open the Safety app and set up “Car Crash Detection” in the Features section. Make sure to allow your Pixel to share your location and enable microphone access.
“It’s an ambient detection feature, so once you’ve turned it on, it’ll activate whenever you’re in a car – whether you’re driving, in the passenger seat, or in a taxi,” says Edward Shi, Google’s product manager for Car Crash Detection.
Just what helps Pixel come to the rescue? Artificial intelligence built into Activity Recognition on Pixel. To detect crashes accurately, the Pixel team trained the AI on real and simulated car crashes, according to Enxun Wei, Google’s lead engineer for Car Crash Detection.
“We trained the algorithm for a variety of situations,” says Wei. “So even if you’re stopped at a red light and a car moving at around 25 mph or higher hits you, Car Crash Detection will still trigger.”
Pixel knows you’ve been in an accident because the AI compares data from your phone’s accelerometer, GPS, and microphone with data from the test crashes. That lets it distinguish between a car crash and sudden movements like bumps or swerves.
One of the most important pieces of information inferred by the AI, according to Wei, is the speed of the car at the moment of the crash. Since Car Crash Detection is meant to help out when drivers can’t respond, Wei and his team focused on identifying severe crashes rather than minor fender benders. Using extensive data, engineers determined that serious accidents more commonly occurred in vehicles with a relative speed of 25 miles per hour or higher at the moment of collision, and identified which speeds are linked to more severe injuries, according to Wei.
When Car Crash Detection triggers, it sets off a 60-second timer. If Pixel doesn’t get a response, it can automatically call emergency services and share your location with them using an automated message.
Thanks to Google’s Emergency Sharing feature, Pixel can also notify your emergency contacts that you’ve been in an accident, so they can stay in the loop.2 Your phone will even share your real-time location with your contacts. The service uses Google’s AI-driven network of GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile data sources to pinpoint your location.
So when you use Car Crash Detection, you can trust that assistance will be there soon.
Car Crash Detection not available in all languages or countries. Car Crash Detection may not detect all accidents. High-impact activities may trigger calls to emergency services. This feature is dependent upon network connectivity and other factors and may not be reliable for emergency communications or available in all areas. For country and language availability and more information see
Personal Safety app features are dependent upon network connectivity and other factors and may not be reliable for emergency communications or available in all areas. For more information, see