Volvo’s Helmet App And Smart Paint ‘Improve Cyclists’ Safety’

21 May 2015

Car manufacturer Volvo is not taking any chances when it comes to the safety of cyclists. In the last few months the safety-conscious brand has released details of two inventions that it hopes will improve cyclists’ safety.

In January it announced that it had collaborated with protective sports gear company POC and communications specialist Ericsson on a cycling helmet that connects to cars via a smartphone app to prevent car-cycle collisions that lead to head, spinal and other serious injuries.

The two-way communication utilises a cloud-based system that allows Volvo cars to work out a cyclist’s exact position and alert both parties of risk by issuing a proximity alert.

In the event of an alert, the helmet lights up underneath the brim or vibrates as a caution for the cyclist of a hazard, while the driver receives the alert through a display. The system works even if the cyclist is in a blind spot or barely visible at night.

Now Volvo has unveiled testing of a reflective paint that could improve cyclists’ safety at night, in bad weather conditions and while on blind spots or bad bends.

Volvo suggests that Life Paint has a wider range of uses that will prevent accidents – it is transparent and washable, so can be applied to clothes, shoes, helmets, pushchairs and children’s backpacks – even dog leads and collars.

Conceived by creative agency Grey London and developed in partnership with Swedish start-up Albedo100, this safety paint is invisible in daylight.  It has been trialled in six London cycle shops and if it proves popular, the project will expand across the UK and abroad.

Both innovations have been billed as complementing Volvo’s unique Intellisafe pedestrian and cyclist detection system.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has said that each year around 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents.

Adrian Walsh, Director of RoadSafe, a forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems, said: “This innovative technology will certainly help to make it a safer place and it is really encouraging to see a manufacturer reaching out to make pedestrians and cyclists less vulnerable.”