Soon, cars will detect cyclists, brake automatically
Sydney: Swedish car manufacturers Volvo has developed a new radar-based system that can detect cyclists and pedestrians and automatically brake to avoid them.
The system, unveiled at the 2013 Geneva motor show, uses both radar and cameras to detect people on pushbikes and automatically apply the car's brakes if the rider swerves out in front of the vehicle.
Volvo said that in Europe, 50 percent of cyclists killed in traffic have been involved in accidents with cars.
The system is an extension of the manufacturer's existing pedestrian detection program, which can apply the brakes and stop the car completely if it's travelling less than 25km/h.
The radar detects objects in front of the car and figures out how far away they are, while a camera near the rear-view mirror identifies the object as either another car, a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.
If the object does something unexpected and a collision is imminent, it issues a warning and applies full brake pressure.
If widely adopted, the technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of deaths on the road. Last year one-third of the people killed on Australian roads were either cyclists, pedestrians or motor cyclists.
Volvo said that the technology will be offered in all cars fitted with the auto-braking technology from mid-May 2013 in Europe.