This is a great step toward making a car that is intelligent enough to help the driver avoid accidents. Cyclist Detection is an excellent addition to Volvo’s Pedestrian Detection and City Safety auto braking systems.

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

Counteracts accidents

According to accident data, about 50 per cent of all cyclist fatalities in European were as a result of a collision 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 certain cyclist situations as well. "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," says Doug Speck.

Automatic braking

Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. will be available in the Volvo V40, S60, V60 and XC60, models The advanced sensor system constantly scans the area ahead of the vehicle. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied. The car's speed greatly determines 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 possible to apply full braking power immediately when necessary. The technology also covers vehicles driving in the same lane.

The video shows a brief scenario where the detection system would be used. While it's not going to cover all situations, the fact that there is a system developed specifically for cyclists' safety is a good nod towards general awareness of cyclists on the road.