A lot of technology in the autonomous vehicle space is naturally focused on developing the vehicles’ capabilities to make sure they identify and avoid any obstacles or hazards. However, startup !mportant has used its presence at this week’s Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo in Novi to look at the problem of pedestrian avoidance from the other side. According to its CEO Bastien Beauchamp, the company has developed the first pedestrian-to-vehicle (P2V) standard, which allows pedestrians to transmit their position to nearby vehicles.
The technology currently comes in the form of a mobile app that pedestrians can install on their phones. The issue, according to Beauchamp, is that sensors have their limitations: “At the moment, lidars cannot detect pedestrians – we’re too small. Nor can radars or sonars, because we don’t reflect the waves. That leaves only cameras, and they have their limitations, so the industry needs a P2V solution that can detect pedestrians when cameras cannot.”
Of course, for a solution such as this to work, it needs cooperation across the industry. Beauchamp comments, “Our relationship with vehicle manufacturers is going well and growing steadily. We started two years ago and we’re having good discussions with OEMs. We’re going to announce our first implementation soon.”
He also says that the company is in talks with phone manufacturers to have this capability pre-loaded on phones, as well as on IoT devices such as smart watches, or even dedicated bracelets.