New Ford tech relies on Bluetooth LE to prevent accidents with cyclists

Ford is currently working on a new cyclist and pedestrian detection system. Objective: to reduce the risk of accidents.

Ford is one of the most innovative automakers when it comes to new technologies. These are not always used to improve the performance of his cars. This is the case with his latest project, which aims to avoid as many road accidents as possible between motorists and cyclists or pedestrians.

The Dearborn manufacturer is currently developing, in partnership with the company Commsignia, the University of the State of Ohio and the operator T-Mobile, a solution making it possible to alert a driver in the event of a risk of collision with a cyclist or pedestrian. How ? Thanks to an application and the Bluetooth LE protocol which would make it accessible to all.

The objective of this group of engineers from various backgrounds is to develop an application allowing ” determine a potential accident between two of its users “. The principle is to install an application on your smartphone. It works in Bluetooth LE, which has two advantages. The majority of recent smartphones are compatible and, of course, it requires few resources since, as its name suggests, Bluetooth Low Energy (or BLE) consumes very little energy. The rest is a question of the algorithm and the exchange of information between users of the same application. What about drivers of Ford vehicles? They do not need to have their eyes riveted on their smartphone since the OS of their car, Ford Sync, would already integrate the solution. It is also to them that the application is intended in priority, insofar as they have permanent access to a screen which can alert them, which is obviously not the case of cyclists or pedestrians.

In BLE or in 5G

The work of Ford and its partners is already well advanced. The manufacturer and the operator T-Mobile would even work on a version of the application which would work in 5G rather than on the Bluetooth LE protocol. But for now, there is no official announcement yet regarding the integration of this feature in a future Mustang or any other less sporty Ford. In the meantime, the American brand’s vehicles, like those of its competitors, will rely on current detection devices based on cameras or proximity sensors. Some are programmed to detect the presence of a bicycle as a priority, but they are necessarily less alert than a feature capable of determining the exact trajectory of the cyclist.

Ford has often distinguished itself with its research into road safety, well beyond the automobile. Whether playfully with an emoji jacket for cyclists or traditional with informative lighting technologies. This new application is the latest example of a manufacturer that is not lacking in initiatives to allow road users to share this space in a peaceful way.

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