You begin to make a turn around a downtown corner only to slam on your brakes as a runner jogs into the intersection. If you’re lucky, everyone is okay – but pedestrian-car collisions account for thousands of fatalities and countless injuries each year.
New technologies are beginning to help, such as backup cameras and radar-based systems like Volvo’s CitySafety. But they can’t help if they can’t see a pedestrian. A new approach under study by General Motors would got a step further, using a technology called WiFi Direct to help spot pedestrians who are out of the line of sight for conventional warning 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.