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Volvo's smart idea for keeping cyclists safe

autos Updated: Dec 22, 2014 10:59 IST
helmet communicates


Volvo will give the first public demonstration of its latest safety concept, a smart cycling helmet that connects with cars, at the 2015 International CES in January.

The new concept, a world first, was developed in collaboration with sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson and enables two-way communication of location between cyclists and cars, reducing the possibility of a collision. If a cyclist is in a driver's blind sport both receive a warning.

The Volvo driver will be alerted via the car's head-up display while a warning light integrated into the helmet will alert the cyclist, enabling both to take the necessary action to avoid a collision.

The smart helmet communication system is controlled by a smartphone app and the processing is done via the cloud so that alerts and information can be sent to all drivers of connected cars in the immediate area.

The car’s head-up display alerts the driver that a cyclist is in a blind spot or on a potential collision course. Photo:AFP

Volvo cars already have an array of smart collision and accident mitigation technologies that can track other road users' movements and even automatically apply the brakes when a collision course is identified. However, there are currently very few if any smart systems available for "unprotected" road users like cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

In Volvo's home town of Gothenburg, the number of cyclists is increasing rapidly and in China the Beijing government is currently promoting the benefits of cycling to the population in an attempt to get 25% of road users to switch to cycling for their commute by the end of 2015.