Click image to enlarge

New wireless pedestrian detection technology moves cars closer to “computer on wheels”

General Motors is developing a driver assistance feature potentially capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets or in poor visibility conditions.

It’s just one example of many emerging technologies changing our perceptions of cars and how we manufacture increasingly complex automotive parts.

The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, the peer-to-peer wireless standard that allows devices like some smartphones to communicate directly with each other rather than through a shared access point like a cell phone tower. GM researchers have determined Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with other sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems already available on production vehicles to help detect pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct.

The automaker also is looking to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smartphones that can be downloaded by frequent road users such as “bike messenger” or “construction worker” that will help Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify them.

Wireless pedestrian detection is part of GM’s ongoing development of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that could provide advance warning about hazards such as slowed or stalled vehicles, slippery roads or intersections and stop signs.

“This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car’s blind spot,” says Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab. “Wi-Fi Direct has the potential to become an integral part of the comprehensive driver assistance systems we offer on many of our Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles.”

By eliminating the intermediate step required to reach a cell phone tower, Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect in approximately one second compared to conventional wireless systems that typically need seven or eight seconds to acquire location information and connect.

“Wi-Fi Direct’s fast connections offer a distinct advantage in vehicle applications,” said Donald Grimm, GM Global R&D senior researcher of perception and vehicle control systems. “The quicker a vehicle can detect other Wi-Fi Direct users, the greater the potential for collision avoidance.”

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the global industry association in charge of certifying wireless standards, claims Wi-Fi Direct devices can reach each other at a maximum distance of 656 feet or more than two football fields away. In addition to aiding pedestrian detection, this range could enable secure transfers of files such as MP3s or digital address book information between a home computer and the user’s Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicle infotainment or navigation system.

“As we move toward becoming a more connected society, having a self-aware connected car will be increasingly important,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president of automotive industry analysis at Gartner Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory company. “Not only can Wi-Fi Direct help vehicles seamlessly communicate with other consumer devices, it can also augment vehicle-to-infrastructure communications as well, which could lead to better traffic management and fewer accidents.”

GM Canada

 

$49 M for Quebec car parts maker

Raufoss Canada, a subsidisary of Norwegian manufacturer Neuman Aluminum, is investing $49 million to retrofit and expand production at its Broisbriand, QC, plant.

Quebec gets $15 M aluminum production plant

An Alberta aluminum deck manufacturer is investing $15 million to build a new production plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint Jean, Quebec.

$1.7 M+ for manufacturing innovation in Quebec

The Federal government, via the Canada Economic Development for the Quebec Regions (CED), is investing more than $1.7 million in five Quebec manufacturing companies.

Elliott signs distribution deal with Takumi

Elliott Matsuura Canada Inc. has partnered with Takumi—a company under the Hurco umbrella—to supply machining centers in Canada.  

Thomas Skinner celebrates 110th anniversary

December marked the 110th year of business for Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd. and the company celebrated the milestone on December 4.

Fabricating: Robot Feeders

by Nestor Gula

Automatic material handling systems are cost effective in low and high volume shops

Joel Radner to Seco North American round tools sales

Joel Radner has been named sales manager for round tools in North America for Seco Tools.

FABTECH Canada 2014 Expands

The organizers of FABTECH Canada have announced they are expanding the 2014 event, slated for March 18 to 20 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Sandvik to acquire CGTech

Sandvik has agreed to acquire CGTech, a NC/CNC simulation, verification and optimization software developer.

Innovative Toronto bicycle manufacturer adopts automated manufacturing

Helix Labs Inc. of Toronto, maker of what it says is the most compact, lightest and safest folding bike available, recently decided to automate its manufacturing facilities to meet demand for cost savings, quality and consistency.

Keeping it cool

by Jim Barnes

Toolholder options for through-coolant delivery

Fabricating insights from Europe

Companies in Belgium and the Netherlands embrace new technologies to enhance their manufacturing throughput

Manufacturing in 2012 and beyond

There are some people that think manufacturing is somehow an archaic industry that must be replaced by better industries in growing sectors such as information technology or resources.

Your business: Certified to fly

by Tim Wilson

Getting approval to machine aerospace parts worth the effort

Driving the jet

by Kip Hanson

Smart CAM systems make waterjet fast and efficient

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn