New Tech to Avoid Accidents
It was only a matter of time until one of the automakers combined the advanced use of cameras and sensors to create a system for avoiding bicyclists.
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How does the Volvo system work? A radar in the car's grill and a camera pointing towards the front of the car from the interior rear view mirror are constantly monitoring what's in front of the Volvo. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car swerves out in front of the car and a collision is likely, the sensors alert the car's central control unit. Instantly a warning is sent to the driverand full brakes are automatically applied.
Volvo believes the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection system will be popular in Europe where more people ride bikes, often on narrower roads. Still, the issue of cars and bicyclists colliding is a worldwide issue and will only grow as more cities encourage people to bike instead of drive. Already, cities like Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado have a large and thriving cycling populations.
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Expect other automakers to follow Volvo's lead in this area. Many already have pedestrian detection sensors built into their cars and trucks. Now it's a matter of adapting that technology to alert drivers and automatically brake when a cyclist accident is imminent.
—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau; Follow him on Twitter
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com
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