Volvo is positioning itself at the head of the class when it comes to developing high-tech safety features that will protect not only car drivers, but also pedestrians and cyclists. The Swedish automaker recently unveiled external airbags meant to protect pedestrians, and the company is also developing accident-avoiding self-driving cars. At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the company unveiled a new collision avoidance system that automatically senses when cyclists and pedestrians are in a car’s path and brakes for them.

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About half of all cyclists killed in European traffic die from collisions with a car, and Volvo’s new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology promises to lower that figure. The system consists of a radar unit that’s built into car’s grille, and a camera situated in front of the interior rear-view mirror. The radar’s job is to detect objects in front of the car and to determine how far away they are, while the camera system is tasked with identifying what those objects are.

A cyclist swerving out in front of a moving car is one of the scenarios that the system can help protect against. A sensor system scans the road in front of the car, and if it detects a cyclist traveling in the same direction as the car swerving in front of it, the brakes will be applied. Volvo says that the new safety feature will be made available in a wide variety of models in the coming year.

+ Volvo

via Engadget