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Volvos Upgraded Pedestrian Detection

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Photo credit: Stradablog / Flickr

Pedestrian accidents are devastating. Volvo, which Motortrend notes is one of the top safety picks for 2015, continues to look for ways to make these types of accidents even more rare.

They have introduced new technology in their vehicles that will help them improve the car’s ability to detect pedestrians and cyclists while also providing autobreak to prevent collisions. The new features are quickly attracting the attention of auto enthusiasts.

The risks of pedestrian and automobile accidents

According to the CDC, pedestrian accidents remain a threat to safety. In 2010 alone, there were over 4,000 deaths related to pedestrians being struck by cars.

Another 70,000 people were injured that year. Senior citizens and children between 5 and 9 years old proved to have the largest risk of an accident among pedestrians, while impaired drivers presented the highest risk among drivers.

In an effort to combat these accidents, the CDC makes several suggests for people to follow. For example, those walking along roads at night should use flashlights and reflective gear to help attract attention to themselves.

Pedestrians should also walk facing traffic, obey traffic laws, and use sidewalks whenever possible. While these actions can certainly help, equipping cars with the technology to detect pedestrians and prevent accidents can help reduce accidents even further.

The Volvo technology

According to Popular Mechanics, the technology being introduced with Volvo’s 2015 lineup has definite potential for creating a safer environment for everyone on the road.This latest upgrade takes the prior Volvo technology, which helped to car detect pedestrians, and is upgrading it to detect cyclists as well.

The process begins through a radar that scans the area with a 60 degree range. Then, there is a camera, along with a backup laser, that works to detect objects with a 36 degree range. The information gathered through this technology is processed at a rate of 15 times per second, perpetually looking to identify any risks or dangers to the car and driver.

The car will even determine motion patterns of the objects around the Volvo, and this includes cyclists. For example, if someone on a bicycle is riding next to the car, the computer within the car will calculate the direction and speed the cyclist is moving at and use this information to keep everyone safe.

Should the risk of a potential collision arise, the car will immediately let the driver know, while also prepping the brakes for a quick stop. In the event that something happens too quickly for a manual response, such as a bike cutting off the car or otherwise jumping in front of the automobile, the brakes will automatically engage.

While it might not be able to bring the car to a complete stop before impact, it will be able to drastically reduce the speed, which can then also reduce the impact of the collision on everyone involved.

Autosphere also noted that Volvo has continued to improve their technology so that it might also enable the pedestrian and cyclist technology to work even in the dark. This advancement helped it to earn the 2014 World Traffic Safety Achievement Award. Given the dangers that the dark can present for those walking along roads, this also has great potential for reducing accidents and injuries.

Both those driving cars and those traveling roads on bikes or on foot are interested in making the roads as safe as possible. While technology might not be able to fully replace attentive drivers and pedestrians, Volvo has shown that it can make it much easier for everyone to travel confidently.

Its awards and ratings continue to show drivers the dedication the company has to safety.

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