Volvo has unveiled a safety gadget that detects and automatically brakes when cars are on course to collide with a cyclist.
The Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection system combines with Volvo’s existing automatic brake technology to detect and brake, preventing accidents before they happen. The system consists of a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera fitted in the front of the rear-view mirror and a central control unit.
The camera tracks the moving patterns of pedestrians and cyclists, whilst the radar in the grille scans the area in front of the car. If the radar detects an object, the camera helps to determine whether it’s a bicycle or pedestrian and watches over it. If there is a point at which a collision is imminent, the windscreen of the car flashes with a warning and the car automatically activates its brakes.
Volvo have created this technology in response to data highlighting that 50% of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. They believe their new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology will prevent such accidents occurring. Cars that incorporate the scanner will be available to buy in the UK by mid-May.
It will be interesting to see if the technology can go any way to reducing the number of fatalities on UK’s roads, which stands at an alarming 122 in 2012. Whether it will make middle-aged drivers in flat caps any safer is another matter.