A Cyclist’s Best Friend

Going on long cycling tours or even cycling regularly, people come to rely on and appreciate how important a cycling helmet is to their safety. Swedish car manufacturers Volvo have seen this and are looking to tap into the mobile market and cycling sector with one foul swoop.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, they launched a wearable technology prototype that allows two-way communication between cyclists and nearby drivers. The helmet has been designed to help eliminate the risk of accidents on the road involving cyclists who are ill-protected against vehicles when surrounding by ever-changing external variables.

Volvo worked with sports equipment manufacturers POC and telecommunication heavyweights Ericsson, to design the helmet that will sync with their vehicles. Together they have created a complex “cloud-based system to alleviate the growing number of cycling-related collisions and deaths,” annually according to online design magazine Dezeen.

The helmet will also allow cyclists to research certain roads through the sharing of user information and experiences regarding territories they have cycled in. When cycling, the device will send alerts to drivers when they are too close to the cyclists. Volvo’s vice president had this to say about the helmet:

“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.”
“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.”
The cyclist will be located by the driver’s cloud system via the cyclist’s smartphone through apps such as the hugely popular Strava. The cyclist will then be notified of the driver’s presence and the driver of the cyclist’s, via a heads-up notification projected to the display system. If a crash is imminent both parties are signalled immediately.

Volvo says, “the system will become even more useful when visibility is at a low or when road conditions aren’t ideal.” Although still in its early stages the trio of developers believe the prototype will be ready for the market later in 2015. By jumping on the surge of smartphone usage globally, which the developers of Pocket Fruity say is at an all-time high of 17% globally, they believe that this will become the ideal gadget to help keep cyclist and motorists safe on the road for the smartphone community across the world.

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