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Volvo's Safety Tech Helps Avert Bicyclist-Vehicle Crashes

December 25, 2014

Photo courtesy of Volvo.
Photo courtesy of Volvo.

New safety technology that connects drivers and cyclists will be demonstrated next month at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), set for Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

A collaboration involving Volvo Cars, Ericsson and sports gear manufacturer POC is responsible for the technology, which uses a connected car and a helmet prototype. The innovation addresses the persistent problem of bicycle-vehicle collisions. In 2013, bicyclist fatalities increased by 1.2 percent in the U.S., according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Volvo Cars’ City Safety system – standard on the 2015 XC90 – is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. This evolving technology helped paved the way for the helmet technology concept.

A bicyclist can use a popular smartphone bike enthusiast app, such as Strava, to share his or her position to Volvo cars, and vice versa. This is executed using the Volvo cloud.

If an imminent collision is calculated, both road users will be warned – and enabled to take the necessary action to avoid a potential accident. The Volvo driver will be alerted to a cyclist nearby through a head-up display alert – even if the cyclist happens to be in a blind spot. The cyclist will be warned via a helmet-mounted alert light.

“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,” said Klas Bendrik, vice president and group CIO at Volvo Cars. “But now, by exploring cloud-based safety systems, we are getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists and by that avoid collisions.”

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