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GM Developing Pedestrian Detection System Using Wi-Fi Direct

For long, car vendors have been trying to find a way through which car collisions could be avoided. A number of ideas to this end have been introduced so far. For instance, some researchers have used radars, cameras and 3G to enable a car detect the presence of a pedestrian ahead. A team at MIT has developed an ‘intelligent co-pilot’ to avoid accidents. Now, General Motors (GM) has introduced a solution of their own, and it seems to be far better than the earlier systems.


GM pedestrian avoidance system

The problem with making use of 3G-based detection systems is that signal has to first bounce off a mobile network and only then reaches the driver. This essentially lags the signal and can be crucial in time-tight situations.

A new solution proposed by GM take care of this issue. The proposed pedestrian detection system based on Wi-Fi Direct. There are no radars involved, no cameras needed and no 3G connectivity required. Rather, the system makes use of the IEEE802.11 peer-to-peer standards. GM believes that this platform is perfect to enable cars, pedestrians and cyclists discover each other, well on time.

Unlike the radar systems where only the driver is alerted of the pedestrian or a cyclist, communications are two-way in Wi-Fi Direct-based system. Not only is a driver alerted when there’s a pedestrian ahead, a pedestrian may also be immediately prompted via his smartphone that he is about to bump into a car.

According to GM’s Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab, “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. 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.”

While it may still be some time before we can even expect to see this technology on an industrial scale, it is certainly a very viable and effective solution for the whole issue of pedestrian detection. And once implemented, it may actually help thwart a lot of accidents. Watch the video below to get more insights into it.

Courtesy: Engadget

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