The EU’s New Car Assessment Programme is planning to introduce ratings for collision avoidance systems in 2014. According to Dr Andrew Backhouse, a Volvo software expert, EU NCAP may add tests and standards for pedestrian avoidance technology but, he said, "nothing is planned for cyclists."
Dr Backhouse is British but based in Sweden. He is one of Volvo’s Senior Function Developers and works on pedestrian and cyclist detection software.
Volvo has had pedestrian detection technology since 2010 and, in March this year, at the Geneva motor show, Volvo executive Doug Speck entered on a wooden bicycle to introduce cars that avoid cyclists, too.
Volvo’s tech – snappily titled ‘Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake’ – kicks in when on-board radar and cameras spot a cyclist about to be squashed. The Volvo takes over from the driver and, even at speeds of up to 80kmh, jams on the brakes. Volvo’s “driver support” package with collision avoidance technology, and adaptive cruise control, puts an extra £2400 on the price of the car and is “very popular”, said Dr Backhouse.