Smartphone Technology for Roadside Assistance is a Possibility with Ford

October 6th, 2022 by

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Photo Source: Ford

The Ford company, America’s auto GIANT, is currently researching and developing a new smartphone-based communication technology that can help provide roadside assistance with features that may help warn drivers of bicyclists, pedestrians, and more! The Ford company and PSS, Commsignia, Ohio State University, Tome Software, and T-mobile showcased the technology at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s World Congress in Los Angeles the week of September 19th, 2022. How exactly will this work?

The development will even allow drivers to see those approaching their vehicle’s trajectory but are blocked from their view. The current concept for the smartphone app that will run on a pedestrian’s smartphone will use BLE (BlueTooth Low Energy) messaging to communicate their location connected to a Ford vehicle effectively. Suppose the car is calculating a potential crash risk. In that case, Ford SYNC will then alert the driver via the screen within the vehicle by showing graphics of pedestrians, bicyclists, and more with matching audio alerts as well.

About BLE Technology
The system can interpret when a person is using the device and then differentiates bicyclists from pedestrians, among others, based on the speed at which they travel, and then further inspects potential risk by their direction. The BLE devices can quickly change communications channels (also known as frequency hopping) within the 2.4 GHz radio band to minimize unwanted interference.

The BLE technology is said to create wireless personal area networks that will use radio waves within a 2.4-gigahertz band to effectively and efficiently communicate with other similarly equipped technologies. This is already available throughout many smartphones and is entirely compatible with SYNC-connected vehicle technology without needing to make hardware changes to the vehicle.

 Jim Buczkowski, Executive Director, Research and Advanced Engineering, had this to offer enthusiasts about the technology:

 “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. 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.”  

Buczkowski added, “We see other possible applications for this technology, including detecting road construction zones and construction workers. Ford innovates for the masses, so it’s very promising to start with Bluetooth Low Energy technology that’s already become part of our everyday lives because it’s affordable and effective.”

Ford x T-Mobile
The Ford company will work with T-Mobile to showcase the Ford application that will take over BLE communication with T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solution in combination with hyper-scale computing. This will then add resources from across distributed computing networks as demand increases, giving the ability to create more reliable communications. T-Mobile’s 5G network will aid in minimizing the round-trip data travel time, allowing detection alerts to deliver to the vehicle’s SYNC screen rapidly. 

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