Volvo Leads the Way to Safety, with First Cyclist Detection Braking System

Volvo has always had the stigma of being an extremely safe vehicle for the people inside the car, but what about those that are outside? Well, in 2010 Volvo introduced its pedestrian detection system which utilized radar built into the car’s grill along with a camera between the windshield and the rear view mirror to identify potential collision hazards. As an update to the system, Volvo is now factoring in cyclists that may suddenly swerve into the vehicle’s path. A cyclist doing so would trigger the vehicle’s brakes to be fully deployed, bringing the car to a halt and hopefully preventing any injury to the cyclist.

Unfortunately for current Volvo owners and cyclists alike, thanks to the new programming needing a stronger processor, earlier vehicles with the previous pedestrian monitoring system will not be able to upgrade to the new cyclist added version. Also, the cyclist detection system has to be installed at the factory when the car is being built – so purchasers will have to order the system in advance, for a hefty sum of at least $2,700. However, like most technology it is likely to come down in price in the future and you have to give Volvo credit for looking our for cyclists’ safety while on the road as well.

Check out the video after the break, as well as Volvo’s soon to be available hood airbag exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists!

Volvo Leads the Way to Safety, with First Cyclist Detection Braking System

So let’s say you are unlucky enough be impacted by a car – starting in May there is a small chance that car may be the new pedestrian/cyclist airbag equipped Volvo V40. Announced in early 2012, the external airbag will inflate in less than a second and is apparently most effective between the speeds of 12 and 31mph. Sensors mounted in the front bumper deploy the airbag once contact between a pedestrian and the bumper is detected. The airbag creates a cushioned impact zone under the hood as well as covering up the lower portion of the windshield and extending up the A-Pillars, greatly reducing the chance of fatality in car – pedestrian collisions.

Of course all of this technology is great for trying to save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists, but shouldn’t there be an equal push in driver’s education to prevent incidents in the first place? Seems like that would be a far less costly, and more effective solution. What do you think? Should driving regulations and testing be more strict to ensure everyone’s safety while on the road?



  1. Most people have been equipped with cyclist detection systems, but chose to use them to detect their cell phone, coffee cup, or whatever else they are looking at rather than the road. Car’s won’t be safe until they remove the weakest link: the driver.

  2. @mike
    I hear you on that, but if the choice is between car-car collision and car-cyclist collision, I know which one I’m choosing.

    @Ryan @T
    That misses the point. The system update was to add support for swerving cyclists, which is something even an alert driver might not react to in time.

  3. Stiff laws could fix this issue. I think cell/text use while driving has got to be causing more deaths than drunk driving by now. But guess what, ATT and Verizon are at the top of the Lobbyist and campaign donor lists for both republican and democrats. So we won’t see any laws that cut into potential profits for phone/computing “mobility” any time soon. It’s really a sicko country these days.

  4. This sort of technology should be made mandatory, especially given how poorly most people drive in this country. I’d rather see tougher driver licensing standards (on par with other developed countries) but I know that will never happen here in the US.

  5. oh, those crazy bike-ists; always swerving into my car space…..

    At least there is an airbag to deter drivers from giving all human detection responsibility to the auto.

What do you think?