General Motors is developing a new pedestrian detection technology for its car that instead of radars relies on peer-to-peer wireless signals, like your smartphone’s Wi-Fi system. So if you don’t want to get run over by GM cars make sure you always have your phone with you. This system can notice the device before even before the driver sees its owner.
This technology is new and men in white coats are still studying it, but the range of features it offers are pretty wide. GM researchers have determined Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with other sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems already available on production vehicles to help detect pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct.
The system communicate with the device directly and independently, without the need to a cell phone tower to connect them, making the whole process much faster.
The automaker also is looking to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smartphones that can be downloaded by frequent road users such as “bike messenger” or “construction worker” that will help Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify them.
Here’s a demo video explaining the concept:
By eliminating the intermediate step required to reach a cell phone tower, Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect in approximately one second compared to conventional wireless systems that typically need seven or eight seconds to acquire location information and connect.
“Wi-Fi Direct’s fast connections offer a distinct advantage in vehicle applications,” said Donald Grimm, GM Global R&D senior researcher of perception and vehicle control systems. “The quicker a vehicle can detect other Wi-Fi Direct users, the greater the potential for collision avoidance.”