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.
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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.
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"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.