General Motors has announced it is developing wireless pedestrian detection technology for its vehicles, using Wi-Fi Direct connectivity.

The device would warn drivers about pedestrians and bicyclists and it is considered by experts as another step toward having „self-aware connected cars”.

According to GM, Wi-Fi Direct has the potential to become a key part of driver-assistance systems. “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.

Boules added that the device has the potential to become an integral part of the comprehensive driver-assistance systems. GM researchers have found 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.

As a consequence, the automaker wants to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smartphones that can be downloaded by people exposed to accidents such as bike messengers or construction workers so that Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify them.


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