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Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson demonstrate cloud-based wearable cycling tech concept

World-first technology concept connects cycle helmets with cars:

Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson demonstrate cloud-based wearable cycling tech concept 

 

  • Accident data from Europe reveals: 50 per cent of all cyclists killed in traffic have collided with a car
  • Nearly 50,000 cyclist fatalities and injuries in the US every year
  • Unique partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson aims to end crashes between cars and bikes 


Early January, at International CES in Las Vegas, Volvo Cars, protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson presented a world-first traffic information technology connecting drivers and cyclists. The innovative concept is now presented at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona (2-5 March 2015).

 

The technology consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that will establish 2-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists. In specific scenarios cyclists can get information about approaching cars and vice versa. Proximity alerts can therefore increase awareness and help reduce possible crashes.

 

The global growth in cycling continues unabated as commuters take to their bikes. This has resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents, an issue that Volvo Cars and POC believes is unacceptable and requires an innovative and concerted effort to address. Volvo Cars’ City Safety system – a standard in the all new XC90 – is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. Introduced in 2012, the Volvo technology was a groundbreaking step to seriously address cyclist safety. This commitment has paved the way for the innovative helmet technology concept.

 

Using a popular smartphone app for bicyclists, like Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo Cloud to the car, and vice versa. Both road users will now be informed when they are to approach each other – and enabled to take the necessary action to avoid a potential accident. The Volvo driver will be alerted to a cyclist nearby through a head-up display alert. The cyclist will be informed via a helmet-mounted alert light.

 

The cloud-based safety concept is in particular very useful for cyclists if there is a car approaching fast from behind on country roads or from front on narrow roads in mountains or hills. The car driver on the other hand will benefit in particular of this system if he is approaching a cyclist from behind on country roads; even more when visibility is bad – for instance at nights or with fog – or if he is approaching a bicyclist from front on narrow roads.

 

The innovative concept is a result of an all-Swedish partnership between Volvo Cars, POC, the leading manufacturer of protective gear for gravity sports athletes and cyclists and Ericsson, the world leader in communications technology and services.

 

Klas Bendrik, VP and Group CIO at Volvo Cars commented: “The partnership between Volvo Cars, POC and Ericsson aims to take a next step towards Volvo Car’s vision to build cars that will not crash. By exploring cloud-based traffic information systems we can add yet another layer in our safety technology and aim to eliminate additional blind spots.”

 

Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and Founder of POC added: “Our mission is to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. The partnership with Volvo Cars aligns very well with our mission and we are excited to see how we can contribute to cyclist safety and increase interaction between cars and cyclists alike”.

 

Per Borgklint, SVP and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson said: “There is perhaps no greater promise that the Networked Society holds than its ability to create connections that save lives. Our latest work with Volvo Cars to explore protecting cyclists on the road is just the latest example of innovation that can change the world.”

 

Notes to editors:

 

Cycling statistics:

  • Globally, 132.3 million bicycles were sold in 2013 (source: NPD Group 2013)
  • Beijing government hopes, ¼ of people would use cycling to commute in 2015 (source: The Guardian, November 2013)
  • In the Swedish city of Gothenburg alone, the number of bikers raised 30% in 2013 (source: Göteborg Posten, November 2014)
  • 4,533 cyclists were injured in Berlin only in 2012 (source: The Guardian, November 2013)
  • 55% of cyclist fatalities in EU-23 countries occur in urban areas (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012). In US 69% of all cyclist deaths in 2012 occurred in urban areas (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Traffic Safety Facts April 2014)
  • (On the road) serious injuries for UK cyclists in 2013 were 31% higher than in 2009 (source: Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report)
  • In US 726 cyclists were killed in 2012, an increase in 6.5% compared to 2011 and 49’000 were injured, +2.1% vs. 2011 (source: NHTSA/Traffic Safety Facts, November 2013)
  • The total cost of bicyclist injuries and deaths is over $4 billion per year in the US (source: National Safety Council 2012)
  • In Germany, The Netherlands and Poland more than 85% of cyclist fatalities occurred at crossroads. (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012)
  • In some countries, pedestrians and cyclists constitute more than 75% of road deaths (source: WHO Fact Sheet # 358, March 2013) 


Volvo City Safety

2013 launched cyclist detection with full auto brake, in the all new XC90 cyclist detection will be as a standard fitment within the City Safety offer. Volvo Cars’ system uses radar and camera to detect cyclists and based on advanced sensor technology can apply full automatic braking should the car come close to a collision.

 

Volvo Cars’ vision 2020 – and beyond

Volvo Cars believes that fatalities and severe injuries in traffic are unacceptable. The Swedish safety pioneer has therefore declared its Vision 2020 - Nobody should die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020 –, and beyond this, to build cars that do not crash any more.

 

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About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 427,000 in 2013 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China.

 

As of December 2013, Volvo Cars had over 23,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).

 

About POC

POC is a Swedish company, built on a strong mission; to do everything to possibly save lives and to reduce consequences of accidents, for gravity sports athletes and cyclists, by developing and renewing what personal protection is all about. POC has in many ways already set a new standard when it comes to technical solutions, construction, material combinations and engineering, with patented solutions, to increase the degree of protection.

 

The organization involves competences from different fields, such as engineers, material specialists, industrial and graphic designers, neurologists and back specialists. Stockholm is an important centre for some of Europe’s leading research and development experts in the areas of safety, medicine, health care, advanced product development and testing.

 

About Ericsson

Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society and a global leader in communications technology and services. Ericsson’s relationships with all major telecom operator in the world allow people, businesses and societies to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future. Ericsson’s services, software and infrastructure in the mobility, broadband and cloud domain are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to develop business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

 

Today Ericsson counts more than 110,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries and supports networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2013 were SEK 227.4 billion (USD 34.9 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.

 

Keywords:
Safety, Technology
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