Researchers at General Motors are currently developing a driver assistance feature that is capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists before the driver is aware of them, particularly on congested streets or in poor visibility conditions.
The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, the peer-to-peer wireless standard, which can be integrated with sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems that are already available on many production vehicles and will help detect pedestrians and bicyclists who are carrying smartphones with Wi-Fi Direct. General Motors also plans to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct capable smartphones that frequent road users can download, allowing Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles to identify them.
Wireless pedestrian detection forms part of GM’s ongoing development of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication systems that aim to provide advance warning about hazards on the road such as slow moving vehicles, slippery roads or intersections and stop signs.
“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.”