Volvo Cars, protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson recently presented an innovative safety technology that, for the first time ever, can connect drivers and cyclists. This new technology was unveiled at the International CES in Las Vegas from in January 2015.
The global growth in cycling, including South Africa, continues unabated as commuters and sport cyclists take to their bikes. This has resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents. The technology consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that will establish two-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists and thereby avoid accidents. No car manufacturer has previously put a stake in the ground to help address the problem of cyclist/vehicle safety by using Connected Safety technology.
Volvo Cars’ City Safety system – standard on the all-new Volvo XC90 as well as the rest of the Volvo range – is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. It was the industry’s first step to seriously address cyclist safety. This commitment has paved the way for the innovative helmet technology concept.
Using a popular smartphone app for bicyclists, like Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa. If an imminent collision is calculated, both road users will be warned.
Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and Founder of POC added: “Our mission is to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. The partnership with Volvo Cars aligns very well with our mission and we are excited to see how we can contribute to cyclist safety and increase interaction between cars and cyclists alike”.
Here are a few cycling statistics you probably didn’t know about:
-Globally, 132.3 million bicycles were sold in 2013 (source: NPD Group 2013)
-Beijing government hopes, ¼ of people would use cycling to commute in 2015
-In the Swedish city of Gothenburg alone, the number of bikers raised 30% in 2013
-4,533 cyclists were injured in Berlin only in 2012
-55% of cyclist fatalities in EU-23 countries occur in urban areas In US 69% of all cyclist deaths in 2012 occurred in urban areas
-(On the road) serious injuries for UK cyclists in 2013 were 31% higher than in 2009
-In US 726 cyclists were killed in 2012, an increase in 6.5% compared to 2011 and 49’000 were injured, +2.1% vs. 2011
-The total cost of bicyclist injuries and deaths is over $4 billion per year in the US
-In Germany, The Netherlands and Poland more than 85% of cyclist fatalities occurred at crossroads
-In some countries, pedestrians and cyclists constitute more than 75% of road deaths