Washington: Scientists have developed a new system that helps car drivers detect pedestrians and cyclists even when they are hidden from view.
Researchers from Germany`s Technische Universitaet Muenchen developed the Ko-TAG system, in which pedestrians and cyclists carry a transponder - this could be a small wearable device, or it could simply be built into their smartphone.
Cars then transmit a coded radio signal. As a vehicle gets within range of a pedestrian, that person`s transponder picks up the signal and responds by altering the code, then transmitting it back to the vehicle "in a very precise temporal pattern."
By analysing that pattern, the vehicle`s onboard positioning system is able to determine the speed and trajectory of the pedestrian, `Gizmag` reported.
By combining the originating location of the return signal with the car`s own present GPS coordinates, it is also able to determine the pedestrian`s location to within a few centimetres - and it does so within a few microseconds.
If it determines that the car and the person are about to collide, it can alert the driver or even automatically apply the brakes.
Unlike radar-based technology, it can detect pedestrians even when they are hidden from view, researchers said.