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POC and Volvo Cars to develop ‘world-first’ car-bike helmet crash test

Volvo is teaming up with top Swedish sports and safety brand POC for a series of crash tests of bike helmets against cars.

It is part of a ‘groundbreaking’ new research project that aims to further protect cyclists. 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 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 are worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig, from where they are launched towards different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car, at different speeds and angles for various measurements. The tests are based on existing regulatory test procedures for pedestrian head protection. This allows Volvo Cars and POC to make a direct comparison between wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet.

The Volvo-POC project aims 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 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. “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.”

Oscar Huss, head of product development at POC, added: “Much like Volvo Cars, safety is at the very centre of our mission and drives all our ideas and innovations. 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.”

In an earlier collaboration, Volvo Cars and POC worked on a pilot to connect bike helmets with cars in order to help avoid accidents.

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