What's the Latest Development?
Using existing technology built to allow its cars to recognize each other, Honda is extending its communications network to include pedestrians. The Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) automatic safety system takes advantage of hardware already included in smartphones, such as GPS and accelerometers, to make people on the street "visible" to its cars. It also lets the car know whether the person is paying too much attention to their phone -- texting or listening to music, for example -- and not enough attention to the road. If the person is about to step in front of the car, an audio and visual warning is sent to both.
What's the Big Idea?
Given the increase in incidents of phone-obsessed people walking into traffic, and the growing interest in vehicle-to-vehicle communications, Honda's forward-thinking approach could help save lives in more ways than one. For example, because the car receives smartphone signals from multiple directions, it can "see" when a person is moving behind it, or is hidden between other vehicles. The automaker is developing similar technology that will enable communication between cars and motorcycles and send warnings to both in case of a possible collision.
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