Anyone who pedals a bicycle knows that one of the biggest dangers to riders is a motorized vehicle – Volvo estimates that nearly 50 percent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. In the United States alone, 618 riders lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes in 2010, and the number of injuries surpassed 52,000.

To help drop those numbers, Volvo has just announced Cyclist Detection with full auto brake – a technology that detects and automatically applies a vehicle's brakes when a cyclist swerves in front of a moving car. The basic components of the system include a radar unit integrated into the front grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar is tasked with seeing obstacles in front of the vehicle and calculating distance, while the camera is responsible to determine what the object is. The central control unit, with rapid processing capabilities, monitors and evaluates the situation.

The technology, which will be sold bundled with its Pedestrian Detection and called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, will automatically apply full braking when both the radar and camera confirm a pedestrian or cyclist are in the immediate path of the vehicle. According to the automaker, the technology will be offered on the Volvo V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 models from mid-May in 2013.
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Volvo Car Group reveals world-first Cyclist Detection with full auto brake in Geneva

Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group, literally rolled out another Volvo world first in automotive safety at a press conference at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. He introduced the groundbreaking safety feature - a technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car - by entering the stage on a bicycle.

The new functionality is an enhancement of the present detection and auto brake technology, and the 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," said Doug Speck.

Counteracts accidents

According to accident data, about 50 per cent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car - a number that is counteracted by Volvo Cars' new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology.

New advanced software, including more rapid vision processing, has made it possible to extend the present detection and auto brake technology to cover also certain cyclist situations.

"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 Doug Speck.

Automatic braking

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, which will be available in the Volvo V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 models from mid-May in 2013.

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 as it approaches from behind and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied.

The car's speed has considerable importance for the outcome of an accident. 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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      ZOZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Chinese owners of Volvo do not need to invest in every single stupid safety idea to prove they are still the safest brand in the world!
      Mr. BaderĀ®
      • 1 Year Ago
      Volvo needs to lower their prices and improve the dealerships
      MotionDesigner
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bicyclists should brake for Volvos and other vehicles with a detection system called common sense and logic, with a touch of courtesy as well. Most bicyclists where I'm from (NYC), don't obey the rules and ride like a**holes. Then they b***h and whine about not being treated fairly and the city has to make up laws to protect them.
        raughle1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        Where I'm from most drivers don't obey the rules and drive like a**holes. Then they b**h and whine because they have to slow down for 5 seconds for bikes or old ladies with walkers. See, I can make gross generalizations too. Now please, tell me your thoughts on black people. Or Republicans. Or Mormons. Or whoever else doesn't do it exactly like you.
          MotionDesigner
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raughle1
          Pat yourself on the back for being such a great citizen. Let's all be politically correct, everyone. Go you!
          artandcolour2010
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raughle1
          great comment, raughie! I completely agree.
        wfmsu7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        My feelings exactly. Bikers try to be pedestrians and vehicles at the same time. They should be banned from the roads. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been run over by one who fails to stop at a red light when I'm crossing the street or how many times I've needed to swerve while driving when one pulls out in front of me. Yet they never get ticketed.
        Making11s
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        That's pretty much my experience with bicyclists, as well. At least taxpayers spent millions on bike lanes otherwise they'd be on the sidewalk and out of our way.
        artandcolour2010
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        The average bicycle weighs about 25 lbs. Mine is less than 15. Your car is probably 3000 at the very least, and if you're in an SUV it could be 5000lbs. You need to watch out for US. I can't tell you how many times cars have just treated me on my bike as if I didn't exist. You don't let me take turns when I'm allowed to, don't consider how bad the sides of the roads are we're trying to ride on. Seriously, dude, you're in a MACHINE and we're on a few pieces of bent aluminum. Your concerns are ridiculous.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a bicyclist, I'm not sure this is the right way to go about this. I like riding on separate bicycle paths primarily. Bike lanes are OK in some cities, but are a mess in others. The driver's aren't always to blame, but they aren't always driving the best either.
        artandcolour2010
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        It's great you live in an area with bike paths. I ride to do my daily errands etc, and I have to ride on the side of the road. I've been run off the road by mofos using their cellphones while driving more than once.
      artandcolour2010
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a bicyclist who has been run off the road into fences and trees more than once, I can safely say the ONLY safety device that will work is a device that renders cellphones and SAT/NAVs inoperable while the car is moving. We have had laws against driving while using the phone for a few years, and everyone including the police still do it all the time. And the average driver is NOT intelligent enough to drive AND talk on the phone at the same time. I really want there to be a phone blocker until the car is in Park or the engine is turned off.
        chromal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        Drivers using cell phones are a problem for everyone, not just cyclists. It's especially bad in Colorado, where there are no state laws regarding cell phone or texting while driving, though arguably there shouldn't need to be since the careless and distracted driving statues would seem appropriate. The big issue isn't the law, it's the enforcement. LEOs here would rather pursue the moneymaker, speed enforcement, than concern themselves with passing lane rules, yield signs, right of way violations, etc-- e.g.: the sort of stuff that lead to most accidents.
      kyle
      • 1 Year Ago
      So when you pull up behind a group of those marathon bicyclists or those wannabe marathon bikers or those effing shitty bikers that should use the sidewalk , your car will brake and stop. Ingenious. Seriously, why can't people just learn to be alert and look around while driving?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kyle
        Because bicyclists and motorcyclists are killed by cars constantly.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kyle
        That is called being intelligent, well-trained, and having good reactions. Have you seen much of that in American suburbia recently?
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kinda sucks when you want to run over a bike!
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      tump
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice, but this makes it impossible to drive down Valencia in the Mission. ;-)
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      sixspeedclutchhh
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they've taken into account the truck that is going to plow into the back of the car because the car's brain decides it needs to slam on its breaks to possibly avoid a bike. This sounds like an atrocious idea. I would NEVER drive a car that would take the decision of how to handle a life or death situation out of my hands.
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