Volvo develops Car-Bike (cycle) helmet crash test

Written by Nizam Shaikh

Volvo Cars and Swedish sports and safety brand POC are working together to develop the world’s-first crash test of bicycle helmets against cars. This project is intended towards increasing cyclist’s safety on the road, and the collaboration will ultimately improve road safety through knowledge sharing and development. Volvo is developing an approach to completely avoid such accidents with the help of active safety technologies on their cars.

The car detects cyclists using onboard cameras and radar systems and warns the driver of impending collision and applies full automatic brakes as a safety step. The development of the cyclist detection system is in line with Volvo’s pedestrian detection system and automatic braking system.

The joint research project consists of specially composed crash tests and will be conducted at Volvo Car’s Gothenburg research facility in Sweden. The tests will help achieve learning in long term injuries sustained by the cyclist. POC bicycle helmets will be used on the crash dummies heads and the crash test dummy will be propelled towards a motionless Volvo car’s bonnet area, at different speeds and angles. The test procedures will then make a comparison between wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet, and the tests will use the pedestrian head protection test results, as a baseline for comparison.

The current bicycle helmet testing procedures include a drop test from different heights on flat and angled surfaces and they do not take a vehicle into account. The Volvo-POC project will have an advanced test and take in to account other vehicles involved in the accident scenario, and the learnings will help in improving the safety of the helmets in the near future.

Volvo Cars have also developed a full auto braking system, which can detect cyclist and pedestrians and these important safety features come standard in all Volvo cars as part of the City Safety package that helps maximise road safety.

The findings of the research will be made public and it is also important to note that the Volvo-POC project is part of a larger project which involves Volvo Cars, POC, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, MIPS, and Autoliv and it is partly funded by Vinnova.