Volvo has confirmed that it is enhancing its existing Pedestrian Detection system with full auto brake capability for the 2014 model year by adding a new Cyclist Detection element. Presented in Geneva, this upgraded "Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake" package will be available on the 2014 Volvo S60 and S80 sedans as well as the XC60 crossover and XC70 SUV models. All are scheduled to arrive here sometime this summer.
Like Volvo's groundbreaking Pedestrian Detection system that came online in 2010 (as well as the automaker's current Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Avoidance systems), this latest variation consists of a grille-mounted radar unit, a forward-facing high-resolution camera positioned ahead of the inside rearview mirror and a central controller that uses a constant data stream from both to monitor and evaluate the surrounding traffic.
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According to the Volvo, the addition of Cyclist Detection was made possible by a new strain of advanced software that can more quickly process visual input from the camera and compare it with the radar signal. When it determines that a cyclist headed in the same direction has swerved into the path of the vehicle and created a circumstance where a collision is imminent, Cyclist Detection instantly sounds an alarm inside the car and automatically applies full braking power. The next step in expanding the overall package will be to add recognition capabilities for threats posed by large animals like moose, elk or deer that may wander across a highway and into the path of traffic -- a hazard that account for thousands of incidents each year in certain portions of the country.
"Our solutions for avoiding collisions with unprotected road users are unique in the industry," noted Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group. "By covering more and more objects and situations, we reinforce our world-leading position within automotive safety. We keep moving towards our long-term vision to design cars that do not crash."
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