Automobile drivers and cyclists have always struggled to share the road, but Volvo’s new wearable tech hopes to make the streets safer for everyone.
In collaboration with sports gear manufacturer POC and telecom company Ericsson, the Swedish automaker will debut a connected car and helmet prototype next month that will allow Volvo drivers to communicate with cyclists directly.
Using GPS tracking applications, the helmet will establish two-way connection between Volvo drivers and bicycle riders, calculating the position of both, and sending alerts when a collision is predicted.
The motorist will be notified via Volvo’s in-car display, while the cyclist is alerted with a helmet-mounted light.
“The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps towards Volvo Car’s vision to build cars that will not crash,” said Klas Bendrik, Chief Information Officer at Volvo Cars. “Today our City Safety system, a standard in the all-new XC90, can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. By exploring cloud-based safety systems, we are now getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists and by that avoid collisions.”
“Our work with Volvo Cars to explore the connected society, protecting the millions of cyclists on the road is just the latest example of innovation that can change the world,” added Per Borgklint, Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 50,000 cyclists are killed or injured in the U.S. each year.
The cloud-based safety system will debut at International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which runs from January 6th to January 9th, 2015.