Volvo has unveiled its latest prototype helmet designed to spot and warn both cyclists and drivers about an imminent accident at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 held in Las Vegas this week.
The helmet uses a tracking system to calculate the speed and position of the cyclist. This information is then transmitted to vehicles fitted with an on-board safety system, which similarly tracks the vehicle’s speed and position, and alerts the driver of a potential collision via a head-up display on the windscreen. Cyclists will also be warned by a light mounted on the helmet.
A Volvo spokesman at the launch said that the system would help to eliminate the problem of vehicle “blind-spots” and could help save many lives.
William Broadbent of the Penningtons Manches personal injury team commented: “It is good to see a major car manufacturer like Volvo making a serious investment to improve the safety of cyclists. Volvo already leads the way in vehicle safety for both those inside and outside the car and this shows its commitment to continuing this work. Regrettably, while road safety in general has improved significantly in recent years, the numbers of fatal cycle accidents have remained almost the same.
“A visual alert for both drivers and cyclists would seem to be the most feasible option, especially given the levels of road noise that cyclists experience on the roads. There may, however, be concerns that these would prove a distraction resulting in drivers or cyclists losing concentration and causing accidents. The system should try to prevent this and we hope that trials will however show that this is not the case.
“While technology plays a very important part in ensuring the safety of road users, it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for other road users. Smart technology cannot replace our own vigilance and caution as the main way to avoid accidents.”