New cloud technology seeks to help reduce the number of bicycle and vehicle accidents by eliminating blind spots Image courtesy of Volvo
<p>New cloud technology seeks to help reduce the number of bicycle and vehicle accidents by eliminating blind spots. (Image courtesy of Volvo)</p>

Cloud Helps Curtail Cyclist, Car Crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 50,000 cyclist fatalities and injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Looking for ways to curb those numbers, a new collaboration aims to alert drivers and cyclists about impending accidents. A joint effort between Volvo, POC, and Ericsson uses a connected car and bicycle helmet prototype to establish communication and offer proximity alerts to avoid collisions.

The cloud-based concept aims to alert users even if they are in a blind spot, in conjunction with Volvo’s City Safety system. The helmet uses Bluetooth and a smartphone app (such as Strava) to send out the cyclist’s position, which can then be shared through the Volvo cloud, and vice versa. If an imminent collision is determined, both users are warned—the driver will be alerted through a head-up display alert, and the cyclist will be warned via a helmet-mounted alert light and vibrations. 

Watch a video on the technology concept below:

The system is just one part of a development to save lives across the entirety of “unprotected” road users. The cloud technology, which aims to further eliminate all remaining blind spots between cyclists and drivers, was presented at this year’s International CES in Las Vegas. Further innovations seek to reduce the consequences of accidents for other gravity sports athletes and cyclists.

Volvo’s City Safety system, which now comes standard in the new XC90, includes a variety of other features. Adaptive Cruise Control helps keep distance between other cars, and a 360-deg. camera helps see obstacles at any angle for easier parking and maneuvering. An active high beam automatically senses other vehicles and people on the road, temporarily switching between low and high beams at night.

Further radar sensors help provide blind-spot information when switching lanes and Forward Collision Warning scans all objects within 500 feet in front of the vehicle to avoid accidents. A Park Assist Pilot allows users to pull up to a parking space, let go of the wheel, and have the car steer itself into the spot, alerting the user when to brake. 

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