Volvo has developed an upgrade to its 2010 cyclist alert-and-brake car system. The system functions as a second driver with a faster reaction time, automatically reacting to imminent threats. Radar in the car’s grille and a camera located between its windscreen and back view mirror work to detect collision threats. If the car senses a pedestrian or a cyclist in its path an alarm will sound and the brakes will be fully deployed. The new system can detect multiple threats at once and will be available on a very limited basis. Only 7 out of their 11 models will offer the system and it will have to be ordered up-front before the parts even make it to a factory. Altogether the new system will cost £1,850 to buy it as a part of a package of added features.
Volvo’s system can handle multiple pedestrians and cyclists at the same time
In addition to the software upgrade, Volvo has also developed an airbag that will deploy beneath its front hood if sensors in the front bumper detect they have come into contact with a cyclist or pedestrian. This airbag is designed to reduce injury to the pedestrians head and neck.
Cycling advocates agree that while these innovations are helpful, they do not address the major issues affecting cyclists and pedestrians in most cities. These issues, bad street design and lack of driver training, need to be addressed in order to reduce collisions.