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Automatic Crash Response
Car crash or dropped phone? Here’s how Noonlight detects the difference
Car crash or dropped phone? Here’s how Noonlight detects the difference

Noonlight can detect when you've been in an accident, so can automatically get help right away.

Brooks avatar
Written by Brooks
Updated over a week ago

One of the most common questions we get asked is how will you know I’ve been in an accident and haven’t just dropped my phone or slammed on the breaks?

It’s a great question. You’re relying on this feature to get you help when you need it most, so it only makes sense to wonder how it actually works.

It all starts with your phone.

We collect high-frequency sensor data from instruments in your phone. We start collecting this data from the moment the car starts driving until your trip is complete.

The best part? These sensors already exist in your smartphone and are already being used on a daily basis to make your life easier.

Global positioning system (GPS)

As you may know, GPS is being used anytime you use Google Maps or Apple Maps to navigate from one location to another. In addition to latitude and longitude, your GPS collects data regarding your speed, altitude, and the direction that you're heading.


Your phone's accelerometer detects the acceleration of the phone (a pretty good indication of movement, such as driving in a car).


If you’re like us, you probably remember playing with a gyroscope as a kid - getting it to spin around really fast, then watching as it continued rotating (seemingly) forever without toppling over. Well, you may have already guessed it, but the one we use in your phone helps by collecting your rotation rates.


Just like a compass, the magnetometer detects your phone's orientation in relation to the Earth's magnetic field.

Making sense of all that data

We put all the data from these different sensors into our super smart algorithm to accurately determine when you’re driving and what’s happening with your phone. 

So, we’ll know when your phone’s just rattling around in the cup holder or slipping through your hands onto the street while walking (we hope this doesn’t happen). And most importantly, we’ll know when there’s been a car collision (we really hope this doesn’t happen) and to send help right away.

Now that you know how it works, go ahead and Enable Crash Response.

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