I didn't know the answer, but was curious so I did some digging.
Oddly enough, no it doesn't seem to need crazy hardware access (or at least as far as I could tell). I guess it just watches your location and detects if you go from fast to not fast very quickly, paired with a movement sensor, among other things that don't need system permissions.
What it does require, though, is Google Services Framework, Google Play Services (probably), and some system-level permissions to your phone state. The app needs access to see if you're on a phone call, then access to end or make other phone calls to emergency numbers. These special phone privileges can't be granted by the user via the app settings.
The reason you just see a generic card is because the app errors out when it can't access your phone state and just sits there, half loaded.
Also, the app requires a creepy permission to see what user you're using and to manage the users on the device. Very invasive if you ask me. Or maybe it's just to make sure you're not having fun when it's not safe to do so (an Android Easter Egg).