In a bid to alleviate the growing number of cycling-related collisions and fatalities as the number of bicycles on the roads continues to rise, Swedish automaker Volvo has launched a connected cycling helmet that offers two-way communication between cyclists and drivers.
The prototype helmet – developed in collaboration with fellow Swedish brands protective sports gear company POC and telecoms firm Ericsson – uses a cloud-based system to provide proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists. By using a smartphone cycling app such as Strava, the cyclist can be warned of the vehicle’s nearing location, and vice-versa. If a collision is imminent, both parties are warned using visual cues: the cyclist, via a helmet-mounted light, while the driver is notified with an alert projected onto the windscreen.
A sign of the auto industry’s first step towards addressing cyclist safety, the project builds on Volvo Cars’ City Safety system: a technology integrated into the brand’s new XC90 model that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. “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,” says Volvo’s vice-president Klas Bendrik.
For more on connected safety technology, take a look at Jaguar’s 360-Degree Urban Windscreen, as well as the wider connected technologies set to revolutionise the driving experience in Connected Cars.
The smart helmet will be presented at the International Consumer Electronics Show next month (January 6-9 2015). Look out for our full coverage in January.