Volvo unveiled a brilliantly innovative safety feature that protects bicyclists by detecting their presence, and then automatically applying maximum braking force if a collision is imminent. Volvo has attached this feature to seven of its retail 2014 automobile models, including the V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70, and S80. Volvo’s Cyclist braking system is a bold attempt to substantially mitigate the alarming frequency of automobile accidents involving bicyclists.
Passenger vehicle collisions with bicyclists are increasingly occurring as cycling continues to gain worldwide popularity as a means of public transit, especially in crowded metropolitan areas. Automobile accidents are an unfortunate part of driving, and accidents involving a car striking a bicyclist are especially dangerous for the two wheeled kind. Volvo has taken an active leadership role in reducing these types of accidents by perfecting active braking technology in all their standard models.
Volvo Cyclist Detection is the natural extension of Volvo’s innovative Collision Warning with Active Braking (CWAB) technology, which was first attached to Volvo vehicles in the 2010 model year. These technologies work by utilizing the power of SONAR and RADAR to create an amazingly accurate picture of the road ahead. The power of RADAR and SONAR has previously been used in military and scientific applications, from detecting hidden submarines in the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean, to painting a clear picture of the skies for the skilled air traffic controllers at airports around the globe. The combined forces of Volvo’s RADAR and SONAR act as intelligent eyes and ears that can see an entire map of the road before a distracted driver might be able to accomplish the same task.
Volvo’s Cyclist Detection feeds the information gained by its sensors into its advanced computer systems, which then effectively calculate the risk of collision with surrounding objects. If a collision is imminent, the system automatically alerts the driver of approaching danger and applies the full amount of braking power to the car’s braking assembly, stopping the vehicle quickly, without harming either party.
Cyclist Collision Detection is especially impressive because of its ability to gather specific information and use those details to its advantage. The previous incarnations of collision detection technology were already incredible, but the ability of the Volvo system to specifically target pedestrians and bicyclists is a level of pragmatic detail that is far ahead of its time. Instead of simply bouncing a signal straight forward in order to see an approaching object, the Volvo system looks at its surroundings in a conical fashion, and then highlights individual objects for risk analysis by the car’s computers.
The collision warning system is especially effective in crowded metropolitan environments, where both pedestrians and children are bustling about at a busy pace and often unaware or complacent in their surroundings. Driving through busy city streets can be especially difficult given the tightly spaced lanes, the many audial and visual distractions, and the hurried pace of vehicles. Piloting a vehicle that can automatically provide assistance in such a significant manner, goes a very long way toward creating the safest of driving experiences.
Volvo has been pioneering safety technology for decades, and Cyclist Collision Detection provides a glimpse into the future of driving, where drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists will confidently and safely transport themselves anywhere without the risk of injury.