General Motors recently announced a new addition to its line of vehicles: a pedestrian detection system that uses a peer-to-peer wireless technology to alert the driver to nearby pedestrians in hopes of avoiding deadly collisions. Essentially, this system will allow the car’s onboard computer to detect wi-fi signals from surrounding wireless devices. As the image below illustrates, these signals could be used to warn the driver of pedestrians heading near the vehicle. Presumably the technology would also enable the pedestrian’s device to warn him/her of oncoming cars.
While vacationing with her family at the beach this summer, one of our AWARE editors experienced first-hand a prime situation in which alerts to mobile devices–like those that will be enabled by the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS)–will be critical. But with a goal of reaching as many members of the public as possible, the limitations of CMAS were equally as evident. Continue reading »