We may never be able to guarantee that all drivers stay on the lookout for cyclists, but thanks to some interesting new technology from POC and Volvo, cars of the future may be more bike friendly.
At the upcoming consumer electronics show in January, the pair of Swedish companies will be showing off new safety technology that consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that establishes two-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists with the aim of reducing accidents.
By using popular smartphone cycling apps, like Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa. If an collision is calculated, both road users will be warned. The Volvo driver will be alerted to a cyclist nearby through a head-up display alert — even if the cyclist is behind a bend, hidden by another vehicle, or hard to see because of low visibility. The cyclist will also be warned via a helmet-mounted alert light as well as vibration.
The ideas being explored remind us of technology demos we’ve seen with Google’s self-driving car. Starting around the 1:00 mark in the video below, the driver-less car detects a cyclist and reacts accordingly.
It’s pretty impressive stuff all around — and would be a boon to cyclists, especially when you consider that in 2012 alone there were 726 cyclist fatalities in the United States. Of course, it’s too early to tell if any of these concepts will ever see the light of day at the consumer level, but we love the ideas and will keep you posted as additional information becomes available. In the meantime, stay safe out there.