If Volvo sticks to their guns there might come a day when having an accident in one their vehicles simply isn’t possible. This month the company unveiled an enhanced version of their pedestrian detection system that is now capable of avoiding collisions with bicycle-specific situations. As depicted in a demonstration video, the system reacts to the nerve-racking situations that can arise when bicycles and cars attempt to share the road.
For the most part the bike-detection technology is a software upgrade to Volvo’s existing pedestrian detection program. The distinction comes in faster vision processing via radar sensors and video that can react to cyclists moving in the same direction as the car. If a cyclist swerves into the car’s path creating an imminent collision, the car fully applies its brakes to avoid an accident. When the system takes over it blasts a loud beeping noise to alert drivers a computer is outsmarting them.
Volvo says the system is a world’s first. Look for it on the V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 models beginning in the second quarter of 2013.
Further down the road, Volvo is working to develop a detection system tailored to animals for 2020. The BBC reports, “They (Volvo engineers) have already spent an evening at a safari park where they laid out dried food to attract the creatures which they filmed to study their various behaviours.”
"The aim is to avoid collisions with horses and deer for example," said Chris Mullord. "But there's no firm release date yet."
Coupled with Volvo’s pedestrian airbags, these technologies show Volvo is concerned with the safety of everyone on the road; animals included.