If the connected road is to be a reality, it means that bicycles have to be in on the act too, as they are now a permanent fixture on the road. However, cyclists are not well protected and they’re just one blind spot away from a nasty accident.
This is where Volvo steps in with a rather nifty helmet. The helmet is a collaboration between Volvo, POC, and Ericsson, and works with the Strava app. The app feeds your location to Volvo’s cloud network, which means your bicycle will be identifiable by other Volvo drivers. If it deems that a car and a bicycle are on a collision course, it will notify both the driver and the cyclist, regardless of whether they can see each other or not.
The specially-designed helmet also has a built-in hazard light into the front helmet, which will flash red to signal the rider of the impending hazard.
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We’re not quite sure if there are any implications as to whether your movements will be tracked or if that information can be used in a court of law in case of dispute.
Of course, that’s not the only thing that’s up in the air right now – we don’t know whether this will fly in the real world. The whole premise depends on responsive the system is, and whether it will actually be of use, as accidents can happen in a matter of milliseconds.
There’s also the consideration of how well the system can identify and prioritise potential threats – otherwise it’s going to be an incessant chorus of beeps whilst in heavy traffic. But more will be known this coming CES, as Volvo will be exhibiting this system there.
Starting something is still better than not doing anything at all, and Volvo can give themselves a pat on the back for making that first step.