Smartphones are a huge distraction for motorists and pedestrians these days. Safety is a huge concern with so many eyes glued on their screens as they’re walking around or, even worse, driving. While most people see smartphones as a menace to common sense, Honda sees a way to use the same technology to save pedestrians from themselves. The automaker recently demonstrated a new experimental safety technology called Vehicle-to-Pedestrian that taps into the pedestrian’s phone to warn drivers that are about to get into an accident with smartphone zombies.
Basically the system developed in a partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute uses your car to pick up on the pedestrian’s smartphone GPS signal and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC). The idea is this system will warn you of pedestrians you might have not seen who pop up behind your car while you park, or a person who suddenly darts across the street.
Using DSRC, the car and smartphone can run an application to determine if an impending accident will happen. After the phones communicate with each other, the driver will get a notification on their car dashboard along with an audible alarm. At the same time, the careless pedestrian will get an alert on his or her smartphone as well as a high-volume beep.
Honda is just one of the automotive manufacturers currently working with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in a larger Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hopefully the research goes well and we can make the smartphone-filled streets safer again soon.
Second Image © Honda