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Fords will notice pedestrians because of their mobile phones

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Ford has announced that it is conducting research in order to use the widespread BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) standard so that its cars can detect pedestrians and cyclists moving around even if they are not indicated by cameras or radar, for example , because they are covered. However, this is only one part of the extensive research project on pedestrian safety, as Ford is investigating possible solutions with the participation of several companies.

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One of these companies is the European Commsignia, who for years have been a major player in V2X technology, which has already brought many solutions to the market in terms of communication between cars and roadside infrastructure. In relation to pedestrian protection, for example, UWB, which is still available in relatively few phones, predicts a great future standard. However, Ford’s current research does not only examine the use of Bluetooth, but also takes into account the mobile network solution, as these can even reinforce each other to give a more accurate picture of where the cyclist/pedestrian is and where he is moving.

Ohio State University, T-Mobile and Tome Software also participate in the project, the latter development team deals with the implementation of BLE. According to Ford, it is worth emphasizing this because BLE can be found in all smartphones these days, as well as in all Fords equipped with the SYNC system, so it is not necessary to burden mobile devices or cars with additional hardware elements. At the same time, it is a serious challenge from a technological point of view to use a standard that is not very effective from a positioning point of view to accurately determine the position of the two endpoints of the connection while both endpoints are in motion. At the same time, Tome is working to ensure that this can still work reliably and without blind noises.

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At the same time, there is another connection route between the car and the pedestrian’s phone that does not require the use of additional hardware, and this is the mobile network solution, which by definition also requires coverage. The response time on a 5G network is extremely low, so Commsignia and T-Mobile use this to notify the car of the danger, and they can also rely on the computing capacity in the cloud, which can give more accurate results than a simple BLE connection, where the car your system should do the math. Commsignia contributes to the research project not only the application running on the phone, but also the software used in the operator environment.

Fords will notice pedestrians because of their mobile phones
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At Ford, it is considered very important to use various technical solutions to reduce the number of accidents involving personal injury, and it is especially important that the car can avoid collisions with vulnerable players. Therefore, with a solution that relies on both BLE and 5G, their goal is that if they work reliably, they can complement the increasingly clever driving support systems in cars with solutions that can even predict dangerous situations with the help of technology , if the radars and cameras do not detect it.

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Ford demoed the above solution at ITSWC, which will be held in Los Angeles this week. Companies such as Bosch, Cisco, Continental, Intel, Michelin, Nokia, or Qualcomm will participate in the congress of intelligent transport solutions, but Comssignia will also be represented with its own stand. In the United States, the number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians ending in death increased by 13 percent in 2021 — the same showed a 5 percent increase for cyclists. Precisely because of similar statistics, Ford’s founding member a to the Vulnerable Road User Safety Consortium™, whose goal is to find technological solutions to make traffic safer.

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