Leading automotive safety advocates Volvo have teamed with helmet company POC to conduct a series of crash tests simulating the impacts between bike helmets and cars.
The Swedish safety giants conducted the world-first tests with the end goal of further protecting cyclists with a Volvo spokesperson saying the partnership was an example of the company’s ambition to improve safety through a collaboration and knowledge-sharing approach.
Cyclist Detection Technology
“Accidents between bikes and vehicles can often lead to serious injury or death,” said the spokesperson.
“This is why Volvo have a clear strategy to avoid these types of accidents completely with the help of active safety technologies.”
“Cyclist detection with full auto brake uses the car’s cameras and radars to detect cyclists, warn the driver of an imminent collision and apply the brakes if further action is needed. It is a development of Volvo Cars’ automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection systems, in line with its safety vision.”
The Volvo-POC research project consists of a number of specially designed crash tests at the famous Volvo Cars safety research facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden and is part of a wider research project to understand the types of long-term injuries sustained by cyclists.
During these tests, POC bike helmets were worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig, from where they were launched towards different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car, at different speeds and angles for various measurements.
The tests were based on existing regulatory test procedures for pedestrian head protection. This allowed Volvo Cars and POC to make a direct comparison between wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet.
A Step Up From Previous Tests
Current bike helmet testing procedures are fairly rudimentary, involving helmets being dropped from different heights on either a flat or an angled surface, and do not take into account vehicle to bike accidents. The Volvo-POC project aimed to further refine and advance such testing.
The learnings from the research project will help POC make its helmets safer and more protective in the event of a car-bike accident, while the tests will also provide valuable insights and learnings for Volvo Cars into these types of accidents for future development.
“This project with POC is a good example of our pioneering spirit in safety,” said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre and one of the company’s leading safety engineers.
“We often develop new testing methods for challenging traffic scenarios. Our aim is not only to meet legal requirements or pass rating tests. Instead we go beyond ratings, using real traffic situations to develop technology that further improves safety.”
With over 60 international awards for safety, innovation and design, POC has built a reputation for challenging conventonial wisdom and looking at new research, science and innovation to bring forward new ways of thinking to reduce accidents.
“Much like Volvo Cars, safety is at the very centre of our mission and drives all our ideas and innovations,” says Oscar Huss, head of product development at POC.
“By working closely with scientific leaders in the POC Lab we strive to lead the way in introducing new safety ideas. Certification standards are essential, but they should never limit our willingness to look beyond their parameters to find better and more innovative ways to reduce the consequences of accidents.”
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