Accident Detection

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 months ago
What triggers an accident alert?

Recently, one of our cars ['05 Explorer] was t-boned at an intersection.
Both streets into the intersection were 25mph zones.
I am not an expert, but based on the damage to the Explorer and the fact it spun 180° before stopping...I'm going to guess the other driver was exceeding 25mph [not playing lawyer here].

Our Explorer is old...so damage cost will probably exceed vehicle value resulting in a total loss to our vehicle.



...but what if our car wasn't a beater?

The app did not trigger an alert about this accident.

Thankfully, no one was injured in our vehicle or the other vehicle [which happened to also be older...an '04 something...probably a total loss for that driver too].

...but what if everyone wasn't wearing their seatbelts and an injury was incurred?


Obviously, the Automatic cannot determine another vehicles speed or injury to any passengers.

What is the trigger?
Photo of Tony Boxacannoli

Tony Boxacannoli

  • 100 Points 100 badge 2x thumb

Posted 3 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Ashok Aiyar

Ashok Aiyar

  • 1,160 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
My guess is that Automatic support will ask you to contact them by email to avoid disclosing sensitive information on a public forum. OTOH, I sure as hell hope this issue is addressed here. Crash Alert is a major reason I bought Automatic, and it is troubling that it wasn't triggered by your collission.
Photo of soccer cat

soccer cat

  • 462 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
As far as I know it is detected by a form of accelerometer in the unit that feels the impact. It doesn't monitor the car's system for accidents. They have stated that it's not an exact science and there is no guarantee it will sense an impact.
Photo of Derrick S.

Derrick S., Official Rep

  • 7,374 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Hi Everyone,

Sorry to hear about the accident, Tony, we really hope everyone involved is okay! Ashok is right, please email support@automatic.com so we can take a look at what happened in this case.

Crash Alert is designed to activate in the event of a crash that may leave you without the ability to call for help or notify your loved ones. Even a crash that feels serious may not trigger Crash Alert. This depends on a variety of factors, including the effectiveness of your car's design in cushioning the driver's side area from an impact and the G value read by your accelerometer at the time of impact. The threshold required to trigger Crash Alert is set to capture severe crashes while trying not to trigger unnecessary false alarms, and is something we're constantly refining. 

I hope this helps!
Photo of Sam

Sam

  • 90 Points 75 badge 2x thumb
What if one of the air bags deploys ? Is that an instant trigger ? IMO if that Explorer had side impact airbags they may of deployed which I would hope trigger a crash alert. Crash alert is one of the main reasons why I purchased this product for my son and 89 year old father.
Photo of soccer cat

soccer cat

  • 462 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
The unit has to physically sense a big enough impact to register an accident. It doesn't monitor your airbags. As Automatic has stated there is no 100 percent guarantee it's going to always work.
Photo of Sam

Sam

  • 90 Points 75 badge 2x thumb
If the Automatic device can detect an OBD fault codes, then it should be able to detect an airbag deployment. Here are the generic OBD codes for airbags:

B0020 Left Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
B0028 Right Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
B0030 Second Row Left Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
B0038 Second Row Right Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
B0040 Third Row Left Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
B0048 Third Row Right Side Airbag Deployment Control (Subfault)
Also, the mounting spot where the OBD connector sits in can vary depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Some OBD connectors clip onto a larger piece of metal and sit loosely in the larger piece of metal and some OBD connectors have a much tighter, solid fit. In my opinion, if the OBD connector fits loosely (has some movement when you grab it), it would take more G value to trigger a crash alert versus an OBD connector that fits solid (with the car) with same impact to both vehicles.    
Photo of Derrick S.

Derrick S., Official Rep

  • 7,374 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Hi Sam,

The Automatic adapter can only detect the Check Engine Light, specifically. This is because Automatic can only read and interpret any generic "P" class OBD II code given by the car. These codes are related to emissions of the car, which generally involve your engine. The app will not tell you when any of the other dashboard lights are on, only when the CEL is on. Most other lights are manufacturer-specific and not available to Automatic. Crash Alert is not based on your airbags deploying.