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World-first Technology concept connects Cycle Helmets with Cars

Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson presented cloud-based wearable cycling tech concept at International CES in Las Vegas in January. The innovative concept, a traffic information technology connecting drivers and cyclists, is now being presented at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona (2-5 March 2015).

The technology consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that will establish 2-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists. In specific scenarios cyclists can get information about approaching cars and vice versa. Proximity alerts can therefore increase awareness and help reduce possible crashes.

The global growth in cycling continues unabated as commuters take to their bikes. This has resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents, an issue that Volvo Cars and POC believes is unacceptable and requires an innovative and concerted effort to address. Volvo Cars’ City Safety system – a standard in the all new XC90 – is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. Introduced in 2012, the Volvo technology was a groundbreaking 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. Both road users will now be informed when they are to approach each other – and enabled to take the necessary action to avoid a potential accident. The Volvo driver will be alerted to a cyclist nearby through a head-up display alert. The cyclist will be informed via a helmet-mounted alert light.

The cloud-based safety concept is in particular very useful for cyclists if there is a car approaching fast from behind on country roads or from front on narrow roads in mountains or hills. The car driver on the other hand will benefit in particular of this system if he is approaching a cyclist from behind on country roads; even more when visibility is bad – for instance at nights or with fog – or if he is approaching a bicyclist from front on narrow roads.

The innovative concept is a result of an all-Swedish partnership between Volvo Cars, POC, the leading manufacturer of protective gear for gravity sports athletes and cyclists and Ericsson, the world leader in communications technology and services.

Klas Bendrik, VP and Group CIO at Volvo Cars commented: “The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson aims to take a next step towards Volvo Car’s vision to build cars that will not crash. By exploring cloud-based traffic information systems we can add yet another layer in our safety technology and aim to eliminate additional blind spots.”

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”.

Per Borgklint, SVP and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson said: “There is perhaps no greater promise that the Networked Society holds than its ability to create connections that save lives. Our latest work with Volvo Cars to explore protecting cyclists on the road is just the latest example of innovation that can change the world.”

Source: Volvo Cars