Awhile back, Volvo Car Group announced that it was introducing the “world’s first Cyclist Detection with full auto brake.” At first glance, that sounded great. However, when I looked at it closer, it basically just said that “if a cyclist swerves in front of your car,” the car will stop. Hold on a second — how often is a bike–car accident due to a cyclist swerving in front of a car? Seriously.
I’m not sure if this was a messaging problem (yet again acting as if cyclists are the problem, when its the huge chunks of metal and plastic going exceedingly fast that are the challenge we must deal with — bikers, drivers, and pedestrians alike) or if the detection system is still not great and can only really respond in such limited situations.
Hopefully the detection system, which itself is a good step forward, will also make the car stop when the driver turns towards a cyclist or speeds towards an intersection a cyclist is crossing.
The bottom line, though, is that most accidents are not caused by a cyclist “swerving” in front of a car.
By the way, you can see how oblivious and careless with their lives bikers are envisioned to be in this video about Volvo’s cyclist detection technology: