Researchers suggest pedestrians should wear technology to communicate with driverless cars

A team of researchers in America are suggesting that pedestrians should wear radar reflectors in order to be “seen” by driverless cars.

The academics led by Zhugi Li of Princeton University in New Jersey have created a device which they say makes people more visible to the vehicle’s sensors.

They say cars that rely on visual sensors can have their awareness reduced by fog, rain or snow while radar can struggle to pick out objects if they fail to reflect waves back to the car.

In the paper, they say their Reflective Surface for Intelligent Transportation Systems adopts a multi-antenna design, which “enables constructive
blind beamforming to return an enhanced radar signal in the incident
direction” and that opreliminary results show that REITS improves the detection distance of a self-driving car radar by a factor of 3.63.

(Graphic – University of Princeton)

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