Google puts the value of its smartphones in software, not hardware, through special functions. One of the coolest features of the Pixel phones is car crash detection, and for one man, the feature saved him from getting stuck in heavy machinery for hours.
A Reddit user (u / postnospam) By the name of Chuck Walker posted about his experience with car accident detection on his Pixel phone, but it wasn’t actually in a car accident. Rather, Walker was involved in an accident at his Missouri property in late November with a Bobcat loader. Heavy machinery came off a ledge and fell into a small ravine, landing face down (pictured below) with Walker stuck and injured inside the Bobcat, the emergency exit blocked, and the main exit partially blocked as well. He reports having seven broken ribs and four broken thoracic vertebrae (central spine).
Fortunately, your Pixel 4 XL came to the rescue with auto accident detection. Even though the phone was thrown out of reach during the accident, the event was enough to activate Auto Accident Detection and since the user was unconscious after the fall, the phone contacted 911. When the user woke up, yelled for help, only to hear through his Bluetooth headset that an emergency dispatcher was connected and talking to him. That dispatcher had already dispatched rescue services to his location, and minutes later, first responders from the Southern Platte Fire Protection District were helping him out of the rubble. Walker says that, as a former paramedic, he knew his injuries were not immediately life-threatening, but required weeks of recovery from the broken bones.
If auto accident detection hadn’t been enabled on the phone, Walker would have been waiting for help for a while. He says the accident took place “deep” on his private property, and no one expected to see him “for hours.” When it may have been found, he says he may have been suffering from hypothermia but was also concerned about the possibility of a fire from fuel leaks.
Instead, his Pixel had emergency services at his location in minutes, doing most of the work while he, too, was unconscious.
If you own a Pixel smartphone, you can activate this feature yourself. To do this, search for the “Safety” app and in that app’s settings you will see an option for “Car Accident Detection. It is disabled by default, but it is a feature that you must enable. Car crash detection was originally exclusive to the Pixel 4, but has since expanded to the Pixel 3 and is also compatible with the Pixel 5, 4a and 4a 5G.
Please note that Car Crash Detection and the Pixel Safety app in general require various permissions such as location and microphone. Walker says he doesn’t “like to give up privacy to technology,” but while he never expected to need this feature, the “payoff outweighed the downsides.”
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