While still predominantly in the research stage, there is great potential to use mobile devices to support emerging CV applications that benefit pedestrians and bicyclists. In the context of the CV space, a mobile device is typically defined as a combination of communications technologies that are offered by current smartphones accompanied by new, low-latency peer-to-peer connectivity.
The use of mobile devices in the CV space has the potential to improve pedestrian safety by communicating directly with vehicles to enable alerts to drivers when they are approaching a pedestrian, and vice-versa. This would enable drivers to be more aware of when they are entering an area with pedestrian activity, or to improve awareness in more specific situations, such as when there is a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Conversely, the pedestrian could be made more aware of the presence of vehicles in the area or approaching a crosswalk.
Furthermore, mobile devices could enable use of a virtual pedestrian crossing button, similar to existing crossing buttons at intersections. Agencies are striving to ensure that all travelers can easily access features that allow pedestrians to request the walk phase at signalized intersections. A mobile device could eliminate the need for the traveler to access the crossing button, which might be difficult for a traveler with limited vision or other physical handicap. The mobile device could also provide an alternative means (visual, audio and haptic) of communicating the crossing status and the time remaining to cross to travelers.
Communication between a mobile device and an intersection could also determine when there is a large group of pedestrians crossing or when a pedestrian may need extra time to cross. The signal could be adjusted to accommodate pedestrians at the intersection in real time.