Three Swedish brands have teamed up to produce a concept which they claim is a world-first for cyclist safety: the ‘connected’ bike helmet.
Swedish carmaker Volvo is behind the initiative, together with sports gear manufacturer POC and technology company Ericsson.
The group hopes the helmet will become part of the growing vehicle2vehicle and vehicle2infrastructre (v2v, v2i) scene, enabling it to inform a cyclist of surrounding danger.
Using a smartphone app, the helmet can ‘talk’ to other vehicles in the immediate area via the Volvo cloud and display a warning light to the wearer if need be.
Drivers can also benefit from the technology, with a similar warning shown on the head-up display if the car detects a collision with a cyclist wearing the helmet.
Volvo says the helmet could eventually complement its existing City Safety System, which can already detect a cyclist and apply autonomous emergency braking if need be - but lacks the ability to ‘communicate’ with the bicycle.
Volvo says nearly 50 percent of cyclists killed in Europe have collided with a car, and around 50,000 cyclist fatalities and injuries occur in the US each year.
“The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps towards Volvo Cars’ vision to build cars that will not crash,” Volvo’s Klas Bendrik said.
“But now, 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.”
A demonstration of the connected bike helmet will take place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
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