Volvo, working in collaboration with protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson recently unveiled a new safety technology that connects drivers and cyclists for the first time ever. Using a connected car and a specially designed bicycle helmet, the system establishes two way communication between drivers and cyclists, offering proximity alerts in order to ensure accident avoidance.
The recent growth in cycling has also resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents, which Volvo Cars and POC consider unacceptable. Volvo’s City Safety system can detect, warn, and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists, and is the industry’s first step to seriously address cyclist safety. Volvo’s commitment to pedestrian and cyclist safety has paved the way for the even more innovative helmet technology concept.
Using popular smartphone applications such as Strava that are geared toward cyclists, their position can be shared throughout the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa, allowing the system to locate each bicycle and car. When an imminent collision is calculated, both the car’s driver and the cyclist will be warned, allowing them to take the necessary action in order to avoid an accident. The car’s driver will be alerted to the cyclist using an alert on the head-up display, while the cyclist is alerted using an alert light mounted to the helmet.
The goal is to use innovative cloud-based solutions to prevent future accidents and save the lives of not only Volvo drivers, but the lives of other unprotected road users as well. According to Per Borgklint, SVP and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson, “There is perhaps no greater promise that the Networked Society holds than its ability to create connections that save lives.”
Volvo’s City Safety system is standard on the new XC90, and while this wearable cycling technology is currently only in the concept stage, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it soon in future Volvo vehicles.