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Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson to demo connected car and bike helmet prototype at International CES 2015

Volvo Cars, protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson will present an innovative safety technology connecting drivers and cyclists at the International CES in Las Vegas next month. The technology consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that will establish 2-way communication, offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists with the goal of avoiding accidents.

Using a popular smartphone app for bicyclists, such as Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa. If an imminent collision is calculated, both road users will be warned—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, even if he or she happens to be in a blind spot, e.g. behind a bend or another vehicle or hardly visible during night time. The cyclist will be warned via a helmet-mounted alert light.

The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps towards Volvo Cars’ vision to build cars that will not crash. But now, by exploring cloud-based safety systems, we are getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists and by that avoid collisions.

—Klas Bendrik, VP and Group CIO at Volvo Cars

Some select cycling statistics:

  • Globally, 132.3 million bicycles were sold in 2013 (source: NPD Group 2013)

  • Beijing government hopes, 25% of people will use cycling to commute in 2015 (source: The Guardian, November 2013)

  • In the Swedish city of Gothenburg alone, the number of bikers increased by 30% in 2013 (source: Göteborgs Posten, November 2014)

  • 4,533 cyclists were injured in Berlin only in 2012 (source: The Guardian, November 2013)

  • 55% of cyclist fatalities in EU-23 countries occur in urban areas (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012). In US 69% of all cyclist deaths in 2012 occurred in urban areas (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Traffic Safety Facts April 2014)

  • (On the road) serious injuries for UK cyclists in 2013 were 31% higher than in 2009 (source: Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report)

  • In the US, 726 cyclists were killed in 2012, an increase in 6.5% compared to 2011. 49,000 were injured, +2.1% vs. 2011 (source: NHTSA/Traffic Safety Facts, November 2013)

  • The total cost of bicyclist injuries and deaths is over $4 billion per year in the US (source: National Safety Council 2012)

  • In Germany, The Netherlands and Poland more than 85% of cyclist fatalities occurred at crossroads (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012)

  • In some countries, pedestrians and cyclists constitute more than 75% of road deaths (source: WHO Fact Sheet # 358, March 2013)

Since spring 2013, all new Volvo cars are equipped with Auto brake for cyclists. Volvo Cars’ system uses radar and camera to detect cyclists and based on advanced sensor technology can apply full automatic braking should the car come close to a collision.

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