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Volvo to unveil wearable cyclist safety tech

Safer future: Using a smart phone app, cyclists will be able to connect to Volvo’s cloud communications infrastructure which works with the car-maker’s City Safety system alerting the driver if a crash is imminent, while the rider is warned by a helmet-mounted light.

Cloud-based system will keep Volvos and cyclists apart with app and smart helmet

22 Dec 2014

THE 2015 Consumer and Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month will see Volvo unveil the world’s first wearable cycling technology which alerts drivers to a nearby cyclist even if the rider is around a blind corner.

An all-Swedish collaboration between the car-maker, extreme sports equipment manufacturer POC and telecommunications firm Ericsson developed technology which is composed of a vehicle equipped with Volvo’s City Safety system, a prototype helmet and a smart phone app.

The latest version of City Safety which can detect cyclists and brakes automatically has been available on new Volvos since 2013.

Now using a fitness app such as Strava the rider can connect to Volvo’s cloud-based communications system which will work with City Safety in alerting the driver - with braking if necessary - when an imminent collision is predicted. The rider meanwhile is warned by a helmet-mounted light.

Volvo Cars vice president and Group CIO Klas Bendrik said that as the system connects cyclist and driver via the cloud no line-of-sight is needed to detect a possible collision.

“The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps towards Volvo Cars’ vision to build cars that will not crash,” he said.

“But now, by exploring cloud-based safety systems, we are getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists and by that avoid collisions.” While still in the concept stage the safety technology has the potential to save lives in the future especially in Australia where cyclist numbers are growing. Census data shows the amount of people travelling to work by bike increased by 37 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

According to the Australia government’s 2014 road safety annual report vehicle occupant deaths have been reduced by 33 per cent since 2000, whereas cyclist deaths have increased by six per cent and represents 4.2 per cent of all road fatalities.

The number of cyclist deaths on Australia roads in 2013 was 14 – double 2013’s toll.

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