Print 13 comment(s) - last by Quadrillity.. on Jul 31 at 6:26 PM

GM working on detection systems for pedestrians to reduce accidents

General Motors has announced that it's working on new technology to help drivers detect pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets or during poor visibility before the driver notices them. The technology relies on Wi-Fi Direct, which is a peer-to-peer wireless standard that allows devices such as smartphones and tablets to communicate directly with each other without needing a shared access point or network. 
Researchers at GM have adopted a method that allows Wi-Fi Direct to be integrated with other sensor-based detection and driver alert systems already available in production vehicles to detect pedestrians and bicyclists that are carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct. GM also plans to develop an app that people who frequently walk or ride bicycles on the road can download and use to help Wi-Fi Direct vehicles identify them.
“This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car’s blind spot,” said Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab. “Wi-Fi Direct has the potential to become an integral part of the comprehensive driver assistance systems we offer on many of our Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles.”

 GM's Wireless Pedestrian Detection Technology hopes to reduce crashes like this. [Image Source: Talking Treads]

The development of a wireless pedestrian detection system is integral to GM's ongoing development efforts for vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems for advanced warning of hazardous and other issues on the road. By using Wi-Fi Direct rather than forcing the car to connect to a mobile network first, devices are able to connect in roughly one second compared to needing 7 to 8 seconds to acquire location information when connecting to a network.
Wi-Fi Direct technology could also allow drivers to securely transfer files such as music or digital address book information between the computer in the home and the vehicle navigation system in the driveway.

Source: GM

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By Quadrillity on 7/30/2012 3:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for advancements in technology, but at what point are we going to admit that it controls our lives way too much? Is this really an advanced safety feature, or another reason for people to have a false sense of security while they bury their face in their phones 24/7. Does anyone have any legitimate scenarios that this would greatly benefit? If so, please fill me in because I can only imagine that this is another "cool thing" that never really meet real world usage.

Plus, I'm calling dibs on marketing the device that you can roll out into traffic so that you don't have to wait for the light to change! Anyone want to invest?

RE: cool...but
By BigEdMan on 7/30/2012 4:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
Just picture this technology was made mandatory in the near future. I can see some kid with a $5 disposable cell phone & a hamster ball (or other round object) rolling the phone down a hill in San Francisco during rush-hour traffic.

(legal disclaimer)NOTE: Don't try this at home (or way)...

RE: cool...but
By Camikazi on 7/30/2012 7:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yea I was thinking the same thing, that would be interesting to say the least.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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