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.