Toronto, Ontario — Ford Motor Co. has filed a patent for a geofencing restriction system that could be used in future vehicles.
The patent, which was originally published on November 28, aims to improve pedestrian-vehicle safety by automatically slowing vehicles down in areas where the speed limit drops.
The system outlined in the patent would prevent vehicles from driving into crowds or high-pedestrian traffic areas by establishing geofences around a crowd.
To do this, a vehicle with a geofencing feature would detect the presence of the crowd based on several devices, such as smartphones, present in one congested area. The software included in the vehicle would pick up on other tech signatures to be aware of its surroundings.
If the system detected that a vehicle was heading toward a crowded area at a higher-than-normal speed, the system would then be able to slow or stop the vehicle, preventing a collision from occurring.
While there is no guarantee that this patent will make it to production any time soon, or even at all, other automakers have employed similar features in the past, meaning that Ford’s idea is not outside of the realm of possibility.
Specifically, Tesla has used geofencing features in Canada in the past to aid in the self-driving features of some of its vehicles so that the vehicles can more successfully navigate busy city streets like Toronto where a high volume of pedestrians and streetcars present crash risks.