Car Automatically Brakes for Cyclists
Admit it: You’ve been on either side of the car vs. cyclist encounter, either slamming on the brakes or swerving to avoid a collision. New technology from Volvo may help the share-the-road dream. They’re developing a car with Cyclist Detection capabilities that will automatically break the car if it’s on course to crash.
Since 2010, the company has equipped some of its cars with Pedestrian Detection. For the biker version, the company used new software that relies on rapid vision processing from a sensor system the scans the area ahead. The sensor uses a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, plus a camera in front of the rear-view mirror. The radar detects objects in front of the car and calculates their distance from the vehicle; the camera determines what they are.
When it senses a collision, the car warns the driver and brakes.
“We keep moving towards our long-term vision to design cars that do not crash,” said Doug Speck, a vice president at Volvo, at this week’s Geneva Motor Show. The company has said it wants to make its cars “crash-proof” by 2020. About half of all cyclists killed in Europe were hit by cars, the company said. The system should be available by mid-May, and will cost about $2,700 extra.