Volvo combines cyclist detection with full auto brake

March 06, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the Geneva Motor Show, carmaker Volvo introduced an innovative electronic safety feature: An intelligent image recognition system that detects cyclists and, in the case the cyclist swerves out in front of the vehicle, automatically applies the brakes.

The feature enhances Volvo's present technology that can detect pedestrians. All cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate the new cyclist detection starting in May 2013, the company said.

The systems combines data of a camera in front of the rear-view mirror and a radar sensor integrated in the vehicle's grille. The radar detects objects in front of the car and determines the distance between car and object. The camera data are used to identify the type of object - cyclist or pedestrian - or even unmoved objects such as garbage cans or pollards. The lack of ability to distinguish between these categories has caused several earlier attempts to automatically identify cyclists in the blind spot of vehicles to fail. Thanks to the dual-mode radar's wide field of vision, pedestrians and cyclists can be detected early on. The innovative algorithm of the image-processing computer makes it possible to identify the moving pattern of pedestrians and cyclists. The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera signal to confirm the object. In the case of an imminent collision, the system applies full brake power and, if necessary stops the car. The technology also recognizes other vehicles in the same lane and proceeds accordingly.

The system will be available for the Volvo models V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80.