Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a system designed to estimate the speed of a pedestrian, which could be used in future Ford vehicles, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on June 6th, 2022, published on December 7th, 2023, and assigned serial number 0394677.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has been working on ways to make vehicles safer around pedestrians for years, whether that be by enhancing existing driver alerts or filing patents for a proximity alert system and an external airbag system for pedestrians. Now, this new patent filing aims to also do precisely that, this time with an idea for a system designed to estimate the speed of a pedestrian, which could be used in future Ford vehicles as well.
This particular concept applies chiefly to autonomous vehicles, which hold a lot of promise in terms of providing mobility solutions for those that are unable to drive themselves. A/Vs could also help reduce accidents and traffic deaths at some point in the future as well, though much work needs to be done before fully self-driving vehicles become completely viable. One potential way to reach that goal is outlined in this patent, and aims to address pedestrians that suddenly appear in a vehicle’s path, which can cause problems for A/Vs.
As Ford notes in the patent, today’s sensors oftentimes have problems detecting and estimating the speed of a pedestrian, mainly because there are so many variables involved. Thus, this patent seeks to fix that problem by adding image-based pedestrian speed estimation to a vehicle’s capabilities, which could predict precisely that based on images and a machine-learning model. If it comes to fruition, such a system could help prevent vehicle-on-pedestrian collisions in the future, which have become all too common in recent years.