This initiative from Ford seems like a great idea, and because Bluetooth Low Energy technology is already widely used in innumerable gadgets and devices, the basic infrastructure to make this work already exists. It also would not require any hardware changes to new Ford vehicles that introduce this new form of pedestrian and bicyclist detection technology.
Ford says that the system is capable of differentiating between pedestrians, cyclists, and others based on their traveling speed and can continually evaluate their risk by monitoring their direction of travel. Of course, for the idea to work, the pedestrian or cyclist needs to have Bluetooth active, but most people tend to leave it on in any case.
Perhaps this technology could help prevent Ford Mustang drivers from careening into crowds at car meets, but we’re probably still some way from seeing that stereotype disappear.