A New Warning System To Keep You From Driving Into Cyclists [FastCompany]

First, use your eyes. But when those fail, this new way of linking cell phones could provide last minute warnings when your vehicle is about to crush a biker or pedestrian.

GM’s system integrates Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer wireless standard that lets smartphones directly communicate with each other, with driver alert and sensor systems found in many of today’s vehicles. Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to communicate within a second, while conventional systems that force smartphones to connect via an intermediary (like a cell phone tower) take seven or eight seconds.

As a result, a driver with a Wi-Fi Direct alert system that’s near a pedestrian or cyclist carrying a Wi-Fi Direct-equipped smartphone could be warned when their vehicle is inching a little bit too close. “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,” explained Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab, in a statement...
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