Google puts the value of smartphones on software, not hardware, through special features. One of the most interesting features on Pixel phones is Car Crash Detection, and for a man, the feature saved him from being caught in heavy machines for several hours.
A Reddit user (u / postnospam) with the name Chuck Walker wrote about his experience with Car Crash Detection on his Pixel phone, but it was not actually in a car accident. Rather, Walker was in an accident in late November on his Missouri property with a Bobcat loader. The heavy machinery rolled off a ledge and fell into a small gorge and landed upside down (pictured below) with Walker stuck and injured inside Bobcat, the emergency exit blocked, and the main exit partially blocked as well. He reports having seven broken ribs and four broken thoracic vertebrae (middle spine).
Fortunately, the Pixel 4 XL came to the rescue with Car Crash Detection. Although the phone was thrown out of range during the accident, the incident was enough to trigger Car Crash Detection, and since the user was unconscious after the fall, the phone contacted 91
If car accident detection had not been activated on the phone, Walker would have waited for help for a while. He says the accident happened “deep” in his private property, and no one expected to see him “for several hours.” When he may have been found, he says he may have had hypothermia, but he was also concerned about the potential for fire from leaking fuel.
Instead, Pixel had his emergency services on site within minutes, doing most of the work while also unconscious.
If you own a Pixel smartphone, you can turn on this feature yourself. To do so, look for the “Safety” app, and in the app’s settings, you will see an option for “Car accident detection.” It is disabled by default, but it is a feature you should definitely turn on. Car crash detection was originally exclusive to Pixel 4, but has since expanded to Pixel 3 and is also supported on Pixel 5, 4a and 4a 5G.
Please note that car accident detection and the Pixel Safety app generally require additional permissions, such as location and microphone. Walker says he does not “like to give up privacy to technology”, but although he never expected to need this feature, “the reward outweighed the disadvantage.”
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