Car makers have been peddling wireless pedestrian avoidance systems almost as long as there have been automobiles. (We believe one of the earliest was called the “side view mirror.”) GM’s new experiment though, differs from other implementations by skipping out on the 3G , cameras and radar — instead going for a model built around WiFi Direct . The peer-to-peer 802.11 standard hasn’t exactly set the world on fire , but the WiFi Alliance is diligently tweaking the platform and apparently GM thinks its a perfect match for connecting cars, cyclists and pedestrians to each other. Unlike 3G-based systems, there’s little lag between locating and identifying bikes or people crossing the street since the signal doesn’t have to be bounced off a satellite. It also has a leg up on radar detection since WiFi can be a two way pipeline — alerting someone out for a stroll of an oncoming vehicle.
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GM testing pedestrian detection system powered by WiFi Direct (video)