Google has quietly launched a new app that detects if you're in a vehicular accident and automatically makes a call to first responders. For now, the Personal Safety app is available only in the U.S. via the Play Store and it works only with Google's Pixel phones.
The app works to determine whether you're in an accident by detecting fluctuations in your location and accelerometer readings complemented by detections through your phone's mic (via XDA Developers). Your device will then ask you if you need assistance. If you're unable to respond, the app will automatically dial 911 and send your location to emergency responders.
When setting up Personal Safety for the first time, you will be required to set your emergency contacts. These people will automatically receive notifications about your emergency status in the event of a car crash, for example, and information about your location. You can also create a custom message to be sent to your emergency contacts.
In addition, first responders can have access to your emergency contacts in case of an accident even if your phone is locked. This feature is turned on by default.
The new app works like the one-tap emergency calling feature Google announced for the Phone app for Android in August. If users are unable to speak, they can pick one of three options during an emergency call: Medical, Fire, and Police. Selecting any of the options will prompt the Phone app to send a specific message that will be spoken by an automated voice to first responders.
For now, it's unclear whether the app will be rolled out to further devices, though we'll keep you updated with more information whenever it becomes available.