Volvo has rolled out yet another world first in automotive history - technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car.
This new function is a further evolution of Volvo’s current detection and auto brake technology. The new package will be called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. All cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate cyclist detection.
"As the leader in automotive safety, we have been first in the industry with all detection and auto brake technologies, from the first-generation brake support in 2006 to pedestrian detection with full auto brake in 2010,” says Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.
According to accident data, about 50% of all cyclists’ fatalities in European traffic are as a result of a collision with a car. Volvo Cars' new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology will counteract these statistics. There are no official cyclist injury / fatality statistics for South Africa, but it’s a fact that the number is high and Pedestrian Detection will undoubtedly be a sought-after feature as it provides protection for both cyclists and Volvo drivers.
New advanced software, including improved rapid vision processing, has made it possible to extend Volvo’s existing detection and auto brake technology to monitor cyclists as well.
"Our solutions for avoiding collisions with pedestrians and cyclists are unique in the industry. By covering more and more objects and situations, we reinforce our world-leading position within automotive safety. We keep moving towards our long-term vision to design cars that do not crash," said Doug Speck.
A cyclist in the same lane swerving out in front of the car is one incident type that is addressed by the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. This technology will be available in South Africa in the MY14 range, which will arrive in SA in Q4 this year.
The advanced sensor system scans the area ahead. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied.
The car's speed initial speed obviously plays a large role in the outcome. If the a collision can’t be avoided entirely, the brake application will at least slow the vehicle down as much as possible - a lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced.
Combining camera and radar
- Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake consists of a radar unit integrated into the car's grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit.
- The radar's task is to detect objects in front of the car and to determine the distance to them.
- The camera determines the type of the objects.
- Thanks to the dual-mode radar's wide field of vision, pedestrians and cyclists can be detected early on.
- The high-resolution camera makes it possible to spot the moving pattern of pedestrians and cyclists. The central control unit continuously monitors and evaluates the traffic situation.
- The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera to confirm the object. With the advanced sensor technology, it is then possible to apply full braking power immediately when necessary.
- The technology also covers vehicles driving in the same lane.
Cyclist Detection will be available in SA on all MY14 Volvo’s toward the end of the year.