Volvo unveiled a new cyclist and pedestrian detection system at the Geneva Motor Show that could change the fortunes for other road users. I know we don’t usually cover Volvo news, but this is something different. There are two immutable laws of automobiles, although few in North America will admit it.
The first law is that any technical innovation you see on a Mercedes-Benz S-class will at some point end up on most, if not all, other mainstream cars regardless of manufacturer. The second law is that any safety feature you see on a Volvo will do the same.
As an avid cyclist, I’m also partial to any technology that makes my time on the road as safe and as relaxing as yours. This technology has the potential to help with that.
The Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection system uses a radar and on-board cameras to scan the road ahead specifically for the signature of a cyclist or pedestrian. If a matching profile appears, the car will sound an audible and visual alarm and apply the brakes if it thinks it will help. While not a big fan of having my decisions made for me, this technology could really help.
“Our solutions for avoiding collisions with unprotected road users are unique in the industry,” said Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo. “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.”
A lofty goal indeed, but if this technology is proven to work, it will inevitably filter down to other brands in the years to come just as lane departure technology is doing right now. The brands we carry are all forward looking and innovative, so if this system works, it shouldn’t be too long before we see it in our own dealerships.
Volvo is shipping the first Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection system-equipped cars in the spring, so watch this space.