The picture shown is an obvious jaywalking situation. The pedestrians are at fault. Of course, if we can increase safety by adding functionality to the vehicles, we can save these law breaking pedestrians. It's a good idea, but the pedestrians should pay for the upgrade instead of the driver.
Yes, the story on EE Times Europe says "To detect an approaching pedestrian, the driver needs to be warned or the emergency brake has to be triggered even before the pedestrian steps onto the roadway. At the same time, the likelihood of an unnecessary full braking must be kept extremely low to allow car drivers to find the system reliable enough to use it." A good test would be tagging deer with transponders and seeing if the system is fast enough to brake the car before a deer collides with it, without causing problems for the car and other cars around it. The only thing -- isn't it better defensive driving to just hit the deer than try to brake at the last second? (Not an option with pedestrians, but they hopefully aren't moving as fast as a deer might be.) The system is probably completely useless when the car goes beyond a certain speed.
The concept seems to be simply. Yet, to detect predestian ahead and apply the brake properly is a challenging problem. Among all, like _hm said, when if someone doesn't have a transponder. On the other hands, if brake is applied to avoid hitting a predestian and yet causing a collision to the rear-end of the car, who's fault.
To me, jaywalker or not is another issue. I will definitely feel bad of hitting a person even though it is his/ her fault. The idea is great; yet, it requires more study, a lot of alpha tests and beta tests.
My experience with Germany -- albeit from decades ago -- is that everyone is law-abiding and there would be no jaywalking. Indeed, babylon.com translates "jaywalking" as unachtsamer Fußgang (careless walking), as something done by the heedless Hans Guck-in-die-Luft (Johnny Head-in-Air) from Der Struwwelpeter.
It is gauche to be a pedestrian in Italy. It is in bad taste: a pedestrian is a Person of No Consequence -- The Italian pedestrian feels ashamed and does everything he can do to avoid acting like a pedestrian. To cross the street on the crosswalk, for instance, would be to admit he is a pedestrian. To cross the street, he crosses in the middle of the block, strolling slowly through the traffic. He is trying to make it clear that he is not a pedestrian at all, but a driver who has momentarily alighted from his car. If you treat him like a pedestrian, thus drawing attention to his shame, he will be furious...