Ford Will Alert Hazards Via Bluetooth

Sat 24th Sep 2022

Ford is developing a mobile app that will notify drivers when pedestrians or cyclists are nearby.

The technology has been developed so thatFord vehicles with the latest infotainment system can receive location alerts from pedestrians' or cyclists' smartphones via Bluetooth. The system will then notify drivers of possible crash risks, both by displaying a message on the screen and by playing a sound.

Ford will demonstrate the technology using T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solution, as well as research from Commsignia, PSS, Ohio State University, and Tome Software. Ford says the technology has other possible applications, such as detecting construction zones and construction workers.

The company is trialing the tech in the US and said the feature is intended to complement its Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assistance system, not replace it. The safety package includes items like automatic lane keeping and blind spot avoidance.

Rather than using cameras or radar, which only sees people and objects in line of sight, Bluetooth Low Energy uses radio waves to detect people and objects behind buildings and other barriers. Ford did not explain how far away pedestrians might be detected—a crucial factor for drivers who might need to respond rapidly.

Ford says its application can connect to multiple devices at once without pairing, thanks to the technology's widespread availability in smartphones.

“Newer Ford vehicles already with Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology can detect and help warn drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders and others -- and even apply brakes if drivers do not respond in time,” Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s executive director of research and advanced engineering, said in a statement. “We are now exploring ways to expand vehicle sensing capability, for areas drivers cannot see, to help people drive even more confidently on roads increasingly shared by others using their two feet or two wheels.”