New Technology May Increase Pedestrian and Motorist Safety in Chicago and Nationwide

Recently, some vehicle manufacturers began installing cameras and radar designed to help drivers maintain a safe distance from other cars on the roadway. Soon, new technology may allow motorists to see other pedestrians, bicyclists, and other cars around a corner or on the other side of a hill. According to a Senior Researcher in General Motors’ Perception and Vehicle Control Systems Group, Don Grimm, a form of Wi-Fi may soon afford drivers with an opportunity to avoid more automobile accidents.

Vehicle-to-vehicle Wi-Fi technology would reportedly allow cars to communicate with and avoid one another without a network. In addition, roadside sensors that incorporate Wi-Fi technology may also be able to provide drivers with information regarding current roadway conditions, accident locations, traffic snarls, traffic signal status, and more. Grimm stated in-vehicle Wi-Fi has an advantage over radar and cameras because wireless technology can see and communicate in every direction.

As part of an automobile Wi-Fi pilot program, researchers at the University of Michigan recently joined forces with the United States Department of Transportation and eight vehicle manufacturers to test sensors in more than 3,000 automobiles in Ann Arbor Michigan. In addition, 29 roadside sensors were installed throughout the city. The data collected will reportedly be used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to determine whether to pursue motor vehicle Wi-Fi technology through legislative or other measures.

Similarly, General Motors recently began installing a pedestrian-detection application, Wi-Fi Direct, in select models of cars. The technology allows motorists to connect with pedestrians who have downloaded a smartphone application that runs whenever their cellular telephone is turned on. The application then alerts motorists with Wi-Fi Direct in their vehicles to the presence of those pedestrians. Although the technology is reportedly only capable of connecting to devices that are within about 650 feet of one another, the technology is reportedly designed for use primarily in urban areas such as Chicago.

Hopefully, new technologies will eventually reduce the often catastrophic injuries sustained by pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and passengers who are involved in a crash with an automobile. Although the Illinois Vehicle Code requires all motorists to drive with care and stop for pedestrians who are crossing the street, accidents still happen. Inattentive, distracted, reckless, or simply negligent drivers cause thousands of car wrecks every year. In 2011 alone, nearly 1,000 individuals in Illinois and more than 200 people in Cook County were killed in an avoidable motor vehicle collision. If you were the victim of a car accident that was caused by another driver, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights.

If you were hurt in an accident with an automobile, you should give the capable attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596. Our knowledgeable Chicago Metro personal injury lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to answer your questions and help you file your automobile accident or other personal injury claim. For a free consultation with a diligent and hardworking attorney, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Cook County Jury Awards Paralyzed Man $64 Million Over Workplace Fall, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 28, 2012
Bicyclist Killed by Semi-Truck While Attempting to Avoid Car Door in North Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 28, 2012
Additional Resources:

Wi-Fi on lookout for auto accidents, by Casey Williams, Chicago Tribune

GM cars get WiFi for pedestrian safety, by Richard Read, Christian Science Monitor


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