GM Working on Wi-Fi Direct-equipped Cars to Detect Pedestrians

General Motors is expanding its Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication systems. The system is being developed to allow vehicles to share information between vehicles and infrastructure the help provide information such as stalled vehicles, road work ahead with warnings of potential hazards. Also GM wants to add pedestrians and cyclists to the detect service so they can be seen before the driver can see them.

GM is developing a Wifi Direct system for pedestrian detection that allows Wifi devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to connect with each other. The devices will communicate with each other without the need for a wireless hotspot. Wi-Fi Direct offers location data, it is current up to only one second delay.

GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab, Nady Boules said, “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,” and “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.”

“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.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians and 618 bicyclists lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles in 2010 which is down as much as 25 percent since 1995. GM hopes that this new technology will help to further reduce this number, and I personally believe it will definitely help drivers be more aware.

Wi-Fi Direct devices can reach each other at a maximum distance of 656 feet, according to The Wifi Alliance. This range could enable secure transfers of files such as MP3s or digital address book information between a home computer and the user’s Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicle infotainment or navigation system.

“As we move toward becoming a more connected society, having a self-aware connected car will be increasingly important,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president of automotive industry analysis at Gartner Inc. “Not only can Wi-Fi Direct help vehicles seamlessly communicate with other consumer devices, it can also augment vehicle-to-infrastructure communications as well, which could lead to better traffic management and fewer accidents.”

Source: GM

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