GM Developing Wi-Fi technology for pedestrian and bicyclist detection

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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General Motors is currently developing a new technology that could potentially detect pedestrians and bicyclists in poor visibility conditions before drivers do. "Wireless Pedestrian Detection Technology," as it's called, relies on Wi-Fi Direct, a standard that allows Wi-Fi equipped devices to connect to each other without the need of a wireless access point.

According to GM, Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems that are available on its production vehicles. In this way, Wi-Fi Direct could detect pedestrians and bicyclists, so long as they are carrying devices equipped with Wi-Fi Direct.

"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."

Though the new technology may prove useful for avoiding collisions, it could also be used for the secure transfer of data files. MP3s and other digital data could be transferred between a home computer and the Wi-Fi Direct-equipped infotainment or navigation system of a GM vehicle.

General Motors says it may even develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smart phones, which would help Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify pedestrians and cyclists who are "...frequent road users" as GM puts it. The app would be targeted toward specific smart phone users such as bike messengers, construction workers, and others who may be at high risk on roadways.

"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."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM / GM Canada,

Organizations: Buick, GM Canada

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