Rather than use their eyes like most drivers, owners of Ford vehicles might soon be able to use their phones instead to avoid running people over.

The motoring giant says it’s developing “a new smartphone-based communications technology” which can “help warn drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists and more”.

And, perhaps most egregiously, the onus will be on pedestrians to install it.

“Newer Ford vehicles already with Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology can detect and help warn drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders and others – and even apply brakes if drivers do not respond in time,” said Jim Buczkowski, who heads Ford’s research and advanced engineering department.

“We are now exploring ways to expand vehicle sensing capability, for areas drivers cannot see, to help people drive even more confidently on roads increasingly shared by others using their two feet or two wheels.”

The advantage Ford SYNC – as they’ve dubbed it – has over eyes is that it can detect pedestrians who don’t want to be run over by an oversized Ford Ranger

The company says it’s to reduce the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians getting hit by cars. 

It didn’t say how far away its technology, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy signals like contact-tracing apps, could detect potential victims. The growing size of vehicles – such as Ford’s own Ranger – are posing an increasing threat to others on the road. Drivers’ vision is often obscured, and when accidents do happen, the larger vehicles hit people in the torso – more likely to be fatal than the lower body.