GM developing an in-car app to alert drivers of pedestrians

Using Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer wireless standard that's like a medium-range Bluetooth, a car would be able to detect a smartphone directly and alert the driver in time to avoid kneecapping the pedestrian.

Too bad it wouldn’t send a popup message to the phone user telling them there’s a car coming.

Wouldn’t it be more effective if this app could apply a taser-like jolt to the pedestrians who wander into the path of moving vehicles while absent-mindedly talking, texting, or surfing the web for semi-useless information?

I would pay at least a nickel to see one of these brain-dead folks jump when enough voltage was applied in order to wake him up.


I just wonder, though, if the in-car system will send a popup message to the driver’s phone as well, since they’re probably too busy on their phone to notice the pedestrians.

Cool. Lots of these things are aimed primarily at meeting the requirements of the European maket, who promulgate laws govverning car design with pedestrians in mind more readily than we do.

BMW already offers a pedestrian (or animal) alert system. It looks like an infrared camera judging by the commercials.

By the time the pedestrian gets the message and reacts, the car is likely to be too close to react safely. If the car is approaching from behind, it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid the pedestrian. Of course, the pedestrian should never (not even ever) walk or run in the same direction as traffic. ALWAYS walk or run against traffic. You don’t really trust that guy behind the wheel, do you?

Like if I cared about a smart phone or apps, someday maybe i will care, but i am starting to text, enogh beepers go off in the wifes van I ignore them, seatbelt, headlight, backup…

I already have an in-head app to alert me to pedestrians. MY EYES!

Maybe they should attach that pedestrian detector to the horn so it blows automatically when someone steps in front of your car…

… come to think of it, maybe just replace the horn switch with a toggle switch so you can leave it on continuously for places like NYC and Boston - places with lots of people, lots of WiFi and where pedestrian and driver are seemingly oblivious of each other.

Thought of that after I being in NYC yesterday, reminding me of that dance of death.

In the very near future they’ll be attachiing the pedestrian detector to the brake system. A few new models already do. While I’m not an advocate of mandating systems that save us from ourselves, these systems save innocent victims from the careless, and I think they should be mandatory.

I think they should attach car detectors to the legs of pedestrians. Maybe make these detectors smart so if the owner of said detector is about to do something boneheaded, like stepping in front of a car, they dispense a 2000V jolt, bluckling their legs in cramps safely on the sidewalk, rendering them unable to get run over.
Edit: just noticed VDC’s idea being similar. We’re onto something.

It’s like LoJack in reverse.

What a great idea – We’ll call it “YoJack!” as in “Yo! watch where you’re walking, Jack!”

I really don’t like this idea of the car’s telling you there’s a pedestrian. Things will turn into somebody who does not have Bluetooth turned on at the time a car hits them, and the driver’s saying “But my car didn’t tell me somebody was there.”

I think people should just be alert and responsible when they’re driving. Sure, accidents can be tragic. So, pay attention when you’re driving. For that matter, pay attention when you’re walking near busy streets - like your mom should have told you when you were four. How about this, just pay attention to what you’re doing at all times - at least when you’re in public. That will keep people from stopping dead in the middle of croweded malls on Black Friday with 20 people who now bump and crash into each other because they’re all trying to get to Hot Topic - 4 stores down.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you build something idiot-proof, God will come around and build a better idiot.

Personally, I’d prefer to have the car apply the brakes automatically.

The technology could even be applied to buses. We recently had an incident in the news where a bus driver intentionally ran a lady over with her bus because she was pissed at her. Needless to say, the driver was arrested.

Think of how much safer schoolbuses would be.

Shouldn’t the pedestrian bear some of the responsibility of walking out into traffic? Like maybe even looking around instead of at the damn phone, take off the headphones so they can hear, look first, you know common sense stuff we were taught as youngsters. Or have parents stopped teaching these things as kids are learning from TV and the internet now?

Shouldn't the pedestrian bear some of the responsibility of walking out into traffic?

In many states like NH…pedestrians have the right of way if in a cross walk. Sure one should look before they walk into traffic…I do it all the time…but cars are SUPPOSE to stop. I can’t tell you how many times I had to cross a street in a cross walk in NH and I waited for 10-20 cars to pass before one actually stopped. One dangerous cross walk is from where we park and then have to cross to go to the school soccer or baseball fields. We’ve already had a few close calls there. We can eliminate some of this problem if we just raised the fine for cars not yielding to pedestrians from $100 to $1000. That’ll cause them to stop.

Here in Wash.D.C. they also have the right of way in a crosswalk. But every day i see lots headphoned iPhoning texters walking across a busy street in rush hour either not in a crosswalk or against the light w/o looking or even raising their head from the phone. Then they have the nerve to curse out the driver that had to lock their brakes. Should maybe there be an app that tells them to to stop and look. I’m sorry i don’t think the driver should shoulder all the responsibility to protect idiots from themselves. Back in the 70,s my dad was crossing in the middle of the block and got clipped by a taxi pulling a U-turn also in the middle of the block. Guess what, dad got a jaywalking ticket.the cab also got a ticket. Dad went and paid the fine the cabbie went to court to fight it, he lost. Stupidity has consequences.

But every day i see lots headphoned iPhoning texters walking across a busy street in rush hour either not in a crosswalk or against the light w/o looking or even raising their head from the phone. Then they have the nerve to curse out the driver that had to lock their brakes.

And IF that driver actually had hit and killed that person…he/she would be in jail for vehicular manslaughter. Yes it’s stupid for the person walking NOT paying attention…but it’s ever DUMBER for the driver who’s SUPPOSE TO YIELD…also NOT paying attention for people in the crosswalk. They have the right of way.

GPS can have an accuracy of around a 20 meter error radius, which means that if I’m walking through a building next to a street, I could be setting off pedestrian alarms in cars. I wonder how they plan to get around this problem.

It seems the trend to take drivers’ minds off of the road is growing by leaps and bounds.