Since even the threat of serious injury or death isn’t enough to keep people engrossed in their phones from walking out into traffic, General Motors is developing a new pedestrian safety technology that will sense the phone itself. Using Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer wireless standard that’s like a medium-range Bluetooth, a car would be able to detect a smartphone directly and alert the driver in time to avoid kneecapping the pedestrian. GM says that Wi-Fi Direct would allow devices to connect in one second, rather than the seven to eight that devices would need when connecting through a cell tower.
While GM is still developing the concept, it also has plans for a smartphone app that would warn approaching vehicles. It could be used by bike messengers, construction workers, and others who are frequently at risk of being hit by traffic. Scroll down to read the full press release and watch a video explaining the concept.
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