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GM Developing WiFi Direct-based Pedestrian Detection

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 18 comments

P2P wireless technology is being explored to help people brake in time to avoid accidents.

General Motors said that it is using the capabilities of WiFi Direct to connect cars with pedestrians and avoid collisions between them.

Using P2P in vehicles is a familiar concept that will show up in our cars in the not too distant future. Last year, Ford demonstrated a system built into its Explorer SUV as well as Fiesta and Focus sedans that enabled an emergency brake system that did not allow the vehicles to crash into another, thanks to a the ability to detect vehicles in poor visibility conditions with reaction time that is superior to that of humans.

GM is heading into a similar direction, but says that collisions with pedestrians can avoided as well. The company announced that it is working on an approach that would integrate WiFi Direct hardware and software with other sensor systems available in cars today to wirelessly interact with WiFi Direct-enabled devices that are carried by pedestrians, bicyclists and car drivers/passengers. Compared to some traffic managements that are proposed today, the WiFi Direct idea is faster than if it were required to use a cell tower and use a centralized information management system. With WiFi Direct, cars and pedestrians can communicate directly.

GM said that "WiFi 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,” which obviously stresses "assistance systems". It is unlikely that the system will interfere with the vehicle other than in the form of a warning system at this time. According to GM, the pedestrian protection component is part of research in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that enable a wide variety of intelligent services, such as emergency vehicle detection, road and threat alerts, and traffic routing systems.

There was no information when the technology will become available in commercial cars.

 

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  • 8 Hide
    sacre , July 29, 2012 10:33 PM
    Jee, someone really wants to screw up the system, all they have to do is throw a tiny WIFI device into a highway and laugh as all the cars stop, swerve, etc.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , July 29, 2012 10:55 PM
    sacreJee, someone really wants to screw up the system, all they have to do is throw a tiny WIFI device into a highway and laugh as all the cars stop, swerve, etc.

    Wi-FI Jammer :) 

    I am guessing they will not use the same frequencies as other devices(if they are smart).
  • 2 Hide
    f-14 , July 29, 2012 11:46 PM
    i actually like this idea despite it's some what flawed system, now if they could just figure out a way to prevent drunks from driving i'd give them a medal and a cookie.
  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 30, 2012 12:24 AM
    There are a lot of established methods of obstacle-detection. Don't see why they'd want to use wifi. Unless it's relaying secondary info like GPS coordinates from a pedestrian, I don't see how wifi signal could be nearly precise enough to be beneficial in this application.
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , July 30, 2012 1:04 AM
    teh_chemThere are a lot of established methods of obstacle-detection. Don't see why they'd want to use wifi. Unless it's relaying secondary info like GPS coordinates from a pedestrian, I don't see how wifi signal could be nearly precise enough to be beneficial in this application.

    +1.
    Methods already in existence include use of radar, ultrasound, lasers, even cameras for shape detection (to tell a human obstacle, for instance) would be more accurate than this.
    Another bullshit actually meant as an excuse to control one's hardware. Really, if my WiFi is off (which will be, because I'm on a street and I see no reason to keep it on), this method would fail, unless there will be a backdoor created in the device that allows them to turn the WiFi back on without the user's knowledge.
    f-14i actually like this idea despite it's some what flawed system, now if they could just figure out a way to prevent drunks from driving i'd give them a medal and a cookie.

    Agreed with the drunk drivers idea; how come they can't figure that one out, yet they come up with this kind of bull?
  • 0 Hide
    oj88 , July 30, 2012 1:04 AM
    Agree. What about those pedestrians without wifi devices on them, like seniors and children.
  • 1 Hide
    geeksinhere23 , July 30, 2012 1:08 AM
    is good to know that more and more technology approaching and improving for driving safety. I truly hope it will be totally virus free. I don't want this new feature stop me from just making a parallel side parking,
  • -2 Hide
    bobusboy , July 30, 2012 1:19 AM
    Carrying my cellphone and being able to be monitored and tracked (if the government desires) is bad enough. Having an actively transmitting device for the sole purpose of locating me in relation to other people and vehicles is just looking for abuse. Whether It's advertising/marketing, invasive monitoring or fraud (because criminals would find a way to exploit it) I'm not in favour of this idea.
  • 0 Hide
    AndrewMD , July 30, 2012 2:11 AM
    There are a lot of short minded comments about this technology that GM is creating. However, many of today's safety technologies come from companies like GM, Toyota, MB, and others. While everyone thinks they are competing against each other for everything, the automotive industry in a whole works together and collaborates on a number of safety technologies we have today and for tomorrow.

    @John_4 - You don't have to buy a GM car, just know that whatever car you do drive has parts made by GM, Ford, and just about every other manufacture out there.

    @sacre - While you might think that is funny, GM and the other companies involved in this technology have enough smarts to understand rouge devices. If not, just hope your not dumb enough to throw one of these devices into traffic, if you do, I hope they charge you with heavy crime, especially if someone gets hurt.

    @oj88 - Most likely this will be a combination of multiple systems to work together with sensors and cameras.

    @bobbusboy - at this time, technology is getting more consolidated and expensive so companies will eventually sell your access to other companies to recoup.

  • -1 Hide
    GhosT94 , July 30, 2012 3:02 AM
    f-14i actually like this idea despite it's some what flawed system, now if they could just figure out a way to prevent drunks from driving i'd give them a medal and a cookie.

    Google auto pilot cars when it exists on a large scale is the only solution so far
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 30, 2012 3:10 AM
    AndrewMDThere are a lot of short minded comments about this technology that GM is creating. However, many of today's safety technologies come from companies like GM, Toyota, MB, and others. While everyone thinks they are competing against each other for everything, the automotive industry in a whole works together and collaborates on a number of safety technologies we have today and for tomorrow. @John_4 - You don't have to buy a GM car, just know that whatever car you do drive has parts made by GM, Ford, and just about every other manufacture out there.@sacre - While you might think that is funny, GM and the other companies involved in this technology have enough smarts to understand rouge devices. If not, just hope your not dumb enough to throw one of these devices into traffic, if you do, I hope they charge you with heavy crime, especially if someone gets hurt.@oj88 - Most likely this will be a combination of multiple systems to work together with sensors and cameras. @bobbusboy - at this time, technology is getting more consolidated and expensive so companies will eventually sell your access to other companies to recoup.

    They might be short-minded comments, but it doesn't change the fact that we have so many options for obstacle detection. Why reinvent the wheel if you're actually concerned about implementing pedestrian-detection when there are a variety of ready-to-use technologies?
  • -1 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , July 30, 2012 7:21 AM
    f-14i actually like this idea despite it's some what flawed system, now if they could just figure out a way to prevent drunks from driving i'd give them a medal and a cookie.


    How about installing a alcohol detector in stering wheel and preventing the automobile to start? It is easy to find solutions when you really want (now ask yourself why they don`t want to)!
  • -1 Hide
    razor512 , July 30, 2012 8:33 AM
    hmm so ford is saying that we can capture the signal then replay it endlessly through a yagi antenna in order to annoy people driving form and GM cars.

    I can see this being abused rather quickly.
  • 1 Hide
    joebob2000 , July 30, 2012 1:41 PM
    teh_chemThere are a lot of established methods of obstacle-detection. Don't see why they'd want to use wifi. Unless it's relaying secondary info like GPS coordinates from a pedestrian, I don't see how wifi signal could be nearly precise enough to be beneficial in this application.


    It's pretty simple really, you can do distance measurement with a rather good accuracy. What use is that? If the distance measurement delta (aka speed) is compared to the speed of the vehicle, then the difference is the tangent of the angle that the transmitter lies on respective to the vector of the vehicle. All you really care about is how far off course the transmitter is from the current vector, so that information is easy to obtain from just a series of distance measurements.

    And i only took basic college math class. Imagine what a real smart person could do.

    In simpler words, if your radio communicates with one on a pedestrian and it's distance to you is decreasing very rapidly, odds are good that you are going to hit them unless corrective action is taken.
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 30, 2012 5:24 PM
    joebob2000It's pretty simple really, you can do distance measurement with a rather good accuracy. What use is that? If the distance measurement delta (aka speed) is compared to the speed of the vehicle, then the difference is the tangent of the angle that the transmitter lies on respective to the vector of the vehicle. All you really care about is how far off course the transmitter is from the current vector, so that information is easy to obtain from just a series of distance measurements.And i only took basic college math class. Imagine what a real smart person could do.In simpler words, if your radio communicates with one on a pedestrian and it's distance to you is decreasing very rapidly, odds are good that you are going to hit them unless corrective action is taken.


    How do you extract position info from something via a wifi signal from entirely different devices? By measuring signal strength? That's the only thing I can think of, and that doesn't work because all devices have different antenna strengths. So if something picks up my antenna's signal strength as, say, 50dB, does that mean I'm just as close as another antenna that is also reading 50dB? No. So there's no way to know with any precision without the wifi signal relaying secondary info (like communicating GPS info). This also assumes that everyone will carry (and enable) wifi-direct devices to be effective on all pedestrians--including young children that probably can't even use such a device? This is a retarded situation to even entertain when cars already have object-detection systems integrated (radar, lidar, visual-recognition). But of course, those don't generate interest from buzz-technologies...
  • -1 Hide
    lamorpa , July 30, 2012 5:36 PM
    Maybe GM could instead put a few dollars into building modern engine manufacturing facilities instead of producing designs right out of 1960 that have the worst power-to-weight ratio on-average for any automobile manufacturer on the Earth!
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 30, 2012 6:05 PM
    If every car in the future has wifi I can see the airwaves getting pretty congested. We should really try to avoid unnecessary signal bloat like this.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 30, 2012 9:31 PM
    So if I don't carry a MiFi device, I'm toast eh.
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