Volvo to Demo Cyclist Detection System
The system uses a camera embedded in a car’s rearview mirror, combined with a radar instrument in the grill to scan the road ahead. If it spots an object, an onboard computer will determine whether it is a cyclist or a pedestrian, and it’s ready to apply the brakes if someone swerves out into traffic or darts across road. Many cars already come with safety systems that will brake if a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian seems imminent. These systems have probably saved lives. By tracking nearby moving objects, the Volvo system could prevent further accidents.
I have to be honest, I think the idea of a detection system is great, but I’m not so sure about automatic brake application. The car can’t know what else is happening and there are certainly times when swerving instead of braking is more appropriate. I do think it’s great that Volvo is thinking about these types of problems and trying to address them. Now that we have GPS systems that know about posted speed limits, perhaps Volvo could build in a variable governor that only allows people to drive up to the posted speed limit. Think of it… we wouldn’t have to worry about having police out on speed details and speeding tickets would be a thing of the past.