Normally I'm not all that up on automotive technology, but a recent article concerning Volvo caught my attention. Volvo has always been a leader in the automotive safety field since the 40's: standard 3-point seat belts, crumple zones, rearward–facing child safety seats, pedestrian airbags (yes, pedestrian, not passenger), etc., etc., etc. Now they can add another technological leap to their already impressive resume.
Volvo has just unveiled their “Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake” system (yes the name is a mouthful, but trust me, it lives up to the hype). Basically, how it works is that there are sensors/radars/fancy gizmos located behind the grill in the nose of the car that detect motion in front and to the sides of the vehicle. This could be from pedestrians, or in my case more interestingly, cyclists. These sensors, in tandem with a camera to help identify what exactly the objects are and where they are heading, communicate with a processor that takes all of that information in and reacts to any movement that will place the object in the car's path of travel and...get this...automatically engage the brakes, even to the point of completely stopping the vehicle!
(insert Handel's Hallelujah chorus here!)
Unfortunately as of now this will only be an option on certain models, not a standard feature. Even more unfortunate it the fact that American auto brands will probably be as resistant to this technology as they were the 3-point seat belts (even though Volvo made its design free to any company that wanted to adapt it). While this new technology certainly doesn't replace safe cycling skills, it will certainly supplement it and perhaps save a few of us from inattentive drivers.
Read the full story HERE.
Speed & Sprocket Cycle Works is a company with a passion for bikes. We offer in home service on your bike as well as nutritional and training guidance for your body.