Pedestrians could soon alert Ford drivers with a mobile app

Auto companies like Ford continually research ways to prevent accidents between motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Ford’s latest experimental solution could offer pedestrians a mobile app to better alert motorists to their presence. The technology would use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and complement the company’s Co-Pilot360 system.

Ford plans to demonstrate a new pedestrian safety system for its latest automobiles this week. It takes the form of a mobile app that pedestrians use to alert Ford drivers’ infotainment dashboards without relying on line-of-sight. The app uses BLE to communicate with vehicles that support Ford SYNC, telling drivers whether a pedestrian or cyclist is nearby. Eventually, it could also alert drivers to construction sites.

Some Ford cars already use the company’s Co-Pilot360 system for the same purpose, but the new app could make it more effective. Co-Pilot360 uses sensors on equipped vehicles to help drivers react to traffic and pedestrians with auto-braking, automatic high-beam headlights, lane centering, intersection assist, and other features. The mobile app could make drivers more aware of people behind obstructions like buildings or steep hills.

Another concept accident-prevention solution Ford and Designworks proposed in 2020 was a jacket that cyclists could wear to display emojis to motorists. Users could display three emojis on the back of the coat using a wireless remote attached to the handlebars: a neutral face, a happy face, and an angry face. The system could also display useful symbols like turn signals and a hazard symbol. There has been little-to-no information since then on when or if the jacket could become available.

This week, Ford also updated its current policy of selling vehicles lacking certain non-essential functions to cope with ongoing chip shortages. At the end of Q3, the company expects 40,000 to 45,000 cars to be affected –mostly high-margin, high-demand models of SUVs and trucks. Owners can have these missing functions installed at service centers for free at a later date.

The tech leverages T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solution with hyperscale computing. Bluetooth Low Energy lets the system work without pairing devices and has a negligible energy requirement. Ford plans to demonstrate it at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s (ITSA) World Congress in Los Angeles from September 18 through 22.
The tech leverages T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solution with hyperscale computing. Bluetooth Low Energy lets the system work without pairing devices and has a negligible energy requirement. Ford plans to demonstrate it at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s (ITSA) World Congress in Los Angeles from September 18 through 22.