News: Volvo unveils 'life-saving' cyclist detection technology

Cars and bicycles finally make friends

Volvo cyclist detection system

VOLVO HAS developed what it calls a groundbreaking system that allows cyclists’ helmets to “talk” to nearby Volvo vehicles and warn riders and drivers if they get too close.

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The system, developed in collaboration with POC, a sports kit manufacturer, and the telecoms equipment maker Ericsson, will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. It links a car, connected to the internet via a Sim card, and a Bluetooth cycling helmet, hooked up via a smartphone app.

The car is able to keep track of connected cyclists. If the electronics calculate that a collision is imminent, the driver receives an alert on their head-up display and a light flashes on the cyclist’s helmet. The Volvo will also automatically brake if the driver fails to do so in time.

Serious injuries involving UK cyclists are on the rise, with 31% more accidents recorded in 2013 than in 2009, according to the Department for Transport. The World Health Organisation has reported that in some countries pedestrians and cyclists account for more than 75% of road deaths.

Klas Bendrik of Volvo said: “The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps towards Volvo Cars’ vision to build cars that will not crash.

“But now, by exploring cloud-based safety systems, we are getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists.”