New Tech – Ford Explores Smartphone-Based Solution For ‘Blind Spots’

While many collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and those riding electric micromobility are caused by drivers simply not paying attention, or driving far too fast for the conditions (and thus not having time to stop or change course to avoid a collision), there are times when simply not seeing them, for example, A-pillar (the frame pieces to the left and right of the windshield) lined right up with where a pedestrian is, resulting in tragedy, even for the most careful drivers.


That is why Ford has been collaborating with academic and industrial partners to find answers to these hazards and save lives.These folks are working on a new smartphone-based communications technology that might assist in warning drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users — even those approaching a car’s path but blocked from a driver’s sight.

Smartphone app developers are exhibiting how their concept for an app running on a pedestrian’s phone communicates their location to a linked Ford car using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications. If the car detects a possible collision risk, Ford SYNC can inform drivers by presenting images of pedestrians, bikers, or other objects on the in-vehicle screen, along with audible alarms.

This alert can save a motorist immeasurable fractions of a second by bringing the car to a halt or slowing down enough to make the crash less harmful. There’s also a chance that these alerts may be integrated with automated emergency braking systems (AEB) to buy even more time.

BLE technology is widely used in personal electronic devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers, entertainment systems, and many more. Ford’s design use it as a beacon to detect other nearby equipped devices without the requirement for pairing.

Ford and T-Mobile will demonstrate how the Ford app can be used to replace Bluetooth Low Energy communication with T-5G Mobile’s Advanced Network Solution, which combines hyperscale computing — which adds resources from across a distributed computing network as demand increases — into a single solution to help improve communications reliability.

T-5G Mobile’s network shortens data transit time, allowing detection alerts to be shown on the vehicle’s SYNC screen quickly.

Reference- Interesting Engineering, Clean Technica, Ford website, Futurism, Popular Science, Inside EVs