Gigaom

While only an estimated 16 percent of the 7 billion people on the planet carry a smartphone today, it’s looking inevitable that most, if not all, of the world’s population will have one at some point. In that case, if you know where a smartphone is, you have a good idea where the smartphone’s owner is. General Motors(s gm) is counting on that by testing a wireless pedestrian detection system, in hopes of giving drivers more time to avoid potentially hitting a person.

Although both cars and smartphones are filled with sensors, the solution GM is testing doesn’t need any of them. Instead, GM is banking on wireless connectivity; specifically the Wi-Fi Direct standard. Conceptually, cars would be actively looking for Wi-Fi Direct smartphones — and the owners of those devices — and could signal an imminent collision in advance by comparing the two signals up to 656…

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