• Volvo wants to design cars that won't crash
  • Technology arrives in the US for 2014 
  • Uses radar and camera to see cyclists

At the recent 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Volvo introduced a restyled and updated product lineup that arrives in the US for the 2014 model year. Among the announcements, Volvo's Cyclist Detection technology debuted. It is a system that can identify when a cyclist traveling in the same direction as the Volvo veers from the bike lane and crosses in front of the vehicle's path. When this occurs, the system automatically brakes the vehicle to avoid a collision or to reduce vehicle speed prior to impact, thereby reducing the chance of serious injury to the cyclist. Volvo's Cyclist Detection system will be included on models equipped with Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake.

"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," said Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo developed the technology to address a statistic showing that half of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. New software with what Volvo calls rapid vision processing makes it possible for the automaker to enhance its existing Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake system to help protect cyclists in certain situations.

Models equipped with the enhanced system, now called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, employ a 3-part system: a radar unit in the car's grille; a high-resolution camera mounted to the rearview mirror that views the road ahead; and a central control unit to continually process the information. The radar unit detects objects ahead and measures the distance to them and the camera determines what the objects are. When the radar unit and the camera confirm that a cyclist, a pedestrian or another vehicle is in the Volvo's path, the system automatically applies full braking power.

"Our solutions for avoiding collisions with unprotected road users 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 Speck.

The enhanced Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake technology will be available in the U.S. starting with 2014 model year vehicles.

author photo

Christian Wardlaw is passionate about the cars, trucks, and SUVs people actually buy, not the models about which they fantasize. An industry veteran and former editor-in-chief of Edmunds.com, this father of 4 loves to inform and entertain everyday car buyers.

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