Volvo teams with POC for car-to-cyclist communication system
Volvo and POC plan to reveal details of a new car-to-cyclist communications system later this year
Volvo has announced a partnership with fellow Swedish company POC, which specializes in helmets and other protective sports gear. The two partners will leverage their respective safety design experience toward developing new concepts in transportation safety. The first order of business is a car-to-cyclist communication system designed to increase cooperation between two- and four-wheelers.
Volvo has been a leader in pedestrian-detection technology, introducing features like pedestrian airbags and auto-braking. Last year, it broadened its Pedestrian Detection system to include cyclists.
"Communication with cyclists around the car is a possible extension of our groundbreaking Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology," explains Jan Ivarsson, Senior Manager, Safety Strategy and Requirements at Volvo Cars. "Providing the cyclist with confirmation that he or she is seen by the vehicle can make interaction between cars and cyclists smoother and safer in urban areas."
While Volvo doesn't say anything further about what the car-cyclist communications will look like, it sounds like the work will entail adding bicycle helmet-integrated communications to the Volvo cyclist detection system. The system could audibly warn the cyclist of the vehicle's presence and provide safety cues for passing, turning, etc. It may also increase the scope and accuracy of the car's cyclist detection.
Volvo and POC plan to reveal their initial results in the second half of this year.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
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"Providing the cyclist with confirmation that he or she is seen by the vehicle ... (and) audibly warn the cyclist of the vehicle's presence... "
Something like drivers honking horns ? Great. A real step forward then.
Just an idea, but how about an alternative approach: How about adapting a system like the "fuel saving" engine cut-out (while stopped at stop lights and now while coasting) to make it work as a life-saving one? When an imminent collision with a cyclist is detected by the vehicle, the vehicle could react by slowing down. To a stop, if necessary. No klaxon required.
Oops. My error. Seems that Volvo already had the "auto-braking" thing figured out. I missed it. See the Gizmag's article "Volvo’s auto-braking detection system adds cyclists to the mix".
Good job to Volvo's engineering team (and Gizmag's reporting)! Now if we could just forget about the "audible warning" stuff please.
Suitably skilled cyclists operate in the same manner as other skilled road users, keeping an active picture of the surroundings. I don't need beeps and whistles to know where other traffic is operating. Adding "features" to make up for lack of skill is not an improvement. What's next? Legislature requiring bicyclists to add this equipment in order to operate?
What about cars to be equipped with a Recco system and cyclist's helmets with a reflector, way easier and scalable, the technology exists, it's just a licensing issue! http://www.recco.com/the-recco-system
Maybe a 'Volvo Aware' sticker on the back of your helmet might work....
We call it a PA system, they have been around as long as CB radios have been on the roads.
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