The Pixel Watch 2 can now detect when you’ve been in a car crash

Starting today, Google’s Pixel Watch lineup is getting some new and improved safety features. The Pixel Watch 2 will get car crash detection, while both Pixel Watches will get improved fall detection.

Car crash detection has been available on Pixel phones since 2019 and will work similarly on the Pixel Watch 2. Once the watch detects you’ve been in a severe car crash, the watch will check in to make sure you’re alright via an on-screen prompt. If you don’t respond, it’ll automatically call emergency services. Your emergency contacts will also be notified with your real-time location.

The Pixel Watch lineup has had fall detection for a while now, but today’s update is geared toward cyclists. Google didn’t get into much detail, but ostensibly, it’s tweaked the algorithm to better differentiate a hard fall while walking versus getting thrown from your bike.

Car crash detection is exclusive to the Pixel Watch 2.
Image: Google

Google is playing a bit of catch up here. Apple introduced fall detection for bikes with watchOS 8 in 2021 and crash detection on the Apple Watch Series 8 in 2022. That’s not a bad thing — the Pixel Watch didn’t launch until 2022. What’s more important is that, with these updates, Google is continuing to close the feature gap between the Apple Watch and Android smartwatches. Car crash detection, for example, is a feature we’ve yet to see on a Wear OS watch.

That said, these safety features have a few caveats. You have to have location enabled, LTE service, or an internet connection via your phone. Fall detection also isn’t available in every country just yet.

This month’s Pixel drop isn’t limited to safety features, however. Both Pixel Watches are also getting PayPal in Google Wallet. And as we reported earlier, all Wear OS 3 smartwatches will now get access to a revamped Google Home app that adds complications and Tiles.

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