Volvo has developed a detection facility which “should prevent fatal accidents” among cyclists (BBC News).
Volvo says that a vehicle fitted with the system will be able to detect threats such as a cyclist suddenly swerving out into its path. The Chinese-owned company unveiled the feature at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show (7-17 March).
If a collision risk is detected an alarm sounds and the car’s brakes fully deployed.
The technology is an enhanced version of Volvo’s pedestrian detection system which was launched in 2010. Like the earlier release, the innovation uses a radar in the car’s grille and a camera located between its windscreen and back view mirror to detect collision threats.
A Volvo Car UK spokesman told the BBC that the firm’s engineers are now working on a new version as part of its 2020 programme which would also detect animals.
Volvo is also about to release its first car fitted with an airbag beneath the bonnet which will inflate if sensors in the front bumper detect contact with a cyclist or pedestrian. The airbag covers approximately a third of the windscreen and is designed to minimise injury to the victim’s head.
While appreciating Volvo’s efforts, British Cycling said that the solution only addresses part of the problem.
A spokeswoman said: “While we obviously welcome any safety measures that can be built into vehicles, people shouldn’t be relying on technology to keep them and other road users safe.
“What would make much more of a difference is making cyclist awareness a mandatory part of the driving test. British Cycling will continue to campaign for this as well as the establishment of a prominent, national cyclist awareness campaign similar to that we’ve seen for motorcyclists.”
Click here to read the full BBC News report.