Google's Safety App Source: Google Images

Google’s latest app will use your phone’s sensors to detect motor vehicle accidents and contact emergency services if you can’t.

Google’s Personal Safety App will now assist road accident victims get help when they’re unable to. The app is likely to debut when the Pixel 4 launches and could be a literal lifesaver in years to come.

Google has been responsible for some of the most important apps in modern history, but its next app could just be the most important one they’ve ever released.

While details about exactly how it will work and when it will be available are still speculative, we are very excited to see Google applying their mind to problems that will hopefully save lives.

A matter of life and death

The time directly after an accident is the most important and often, the difference between getting medical attention immediately or a few minutes later can be critical to a patient’s outcome.

On some of South Africa’s rural roads, it could take hours before another car passes by and calls for help if the accident victims are incapacitated or unconscious.

Google’s latest app will use your phone’s sensors to detect motor vehicle accidents and contact emergency services if you can’t.

How does the ‘crash detection’ feature work?

While it’s unclear how exactly the app will detect collisions, it’s likely that some combination of your GPS data, accelerometer and possibly even your microphone would be used to determine that you were travelling by car and were likely in an accident.

Early leaks of the PlayStore listing show that the app will sound multiple alarms before contacting emergency services in order to avoid unnecessarily deploying emergency personnel.

It is possible after all that the app incorrectly detects an accident. The user will then have the opportunity to cancel the emergency call before help arrives.

When and where will the Google safety app launch?

As usual, the app is currently aimed at the US market and will most likely launch there exclusively with the normal Google promise to be available in other countries soon.

It’s also entirely possible that this will at least initially be a Pixel exclusive feature.

Depending on what hardware Google is using for the crash detection we’ll have to see if the app is eventually made available to everyone or if there’s some special combination of hardware that the Pixel 4 has that powers the collision detection.

The personal safety app looks to be a great addition to the Google stable of apps, and let’s hope that it ends on devices other than the Pixel 4 and becomes available in South Africa eventually.

Apps like these show the real power of our smartphones to make positive changes to our lives.

As for all the details, we’ll have to wait until Google’s Pixel 4 event on 15 October to find out exactly how the app will work and who’ll be getting it.