The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts next week in Las Vegas, and to many is just a giant hall of iPhone accessories and TVs that are 3″ bigger than last year. However, using technology in a way to prevent car and bike collisions, Volvo has teamed up with helmet maker POC with an idea.

Volvo and POC will present the safety technology which consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that establishes 2-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists with the aim of reducing accidents. Established in early 2014, the project is using the cumulative skill and knowledge of the safety-conscious automaker and design-focused protection maker.

“Our partnership with Volvo is both humbling and rewarding and aligns very well with our mission to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists,” says Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder. “Our mutual view and focus on safety has resulted in a unique safety concept that can improve road safety through increased interaction between motorists and cyclists.”

Check out the video and description of how it works…

The system would use smartphone cycling apps and the internet access of the car to broadcast the location of the bike to the car, and vice versa. Both an alert light in the helmet would alert the cyclist, and a heads-up display in the car would alert the driver if the car’s computer calculated an imminent collision.

They say this would be mostly useful where the car or the cyclist were not visible around a bend or other obstacle. Volvo has a project to eliminate deaths or serious injuries created by their cars by 2020, and are aggressively working on various ideas surrounding this. Volvo is obviously a leader in this area, yet it would take industry-wide adoption of a technology to really protect cyclists, and then we wonder if it would work, since a car would have a hard time calculating a collision or not as a cyclist rides on a road with a large quantity of traffic within a few feet of them. Would the system be able to tell whether a few inches of movement side-to-side is the difference between passing the cyclist or killing them? Hopefully, some of Volvo’s other technologies such as pedestrian collision sensors would also step in, and automatically brake the car

“We are proud to take this step with Volvo and what we will present at CES is only the first among many initiatives together. We are excited to see how we can continue to contribute to make cycling safer and further support our mission,” adds Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder.

Hopefully more info comes out as the doors to CES open up next Tuesday.


  1. Devin on

    Highly unlikely will this ever work. Don’t believe everyone wheres a ($270.00) high price helmet like POC. Not to mention that you would have a battery and light adding more cost and weight to the helmet. Sorry, I think its a terrible idea for a great cause.

  2. Krampus29 on

    Sounds like a great effort to me. You can’t solve a problem without trying and then improving on the weaknesses. This is something the big boys in the industry could add to the bike platform better than the helmet.

  3. John on

    I have a better idea, how about drivers simply drive their car and bike riders be predictable and don’t do dumb stuff. We don’t need more technology in cars and helmets to solve this simple problem.

  4. James S on

    Incredibly lame. I don’t own a smartphone, so does that mean if I get run over by a Volvo someday it will be my fault? I can see it now… Headline: Cyclist Run Over by Volvo that Ran Red Light- Police Say Cyclist is at Fault Because He Didn’t Own a Smartphone.

  5. Antipodean_G on

    @Delvin, I wEAR a *high price* POC and it’s worth every cent. But then I guess some think their heads are ‘inexpensive’, which is funny because many of the same people don’t balk a dishing out wads of cash on their bikes for far less effect.

    Too much tech, not enough tech, dumb idea, great idea…

    You know, it’s great to see a company in the biz actually being proactive about this issue, so hats (or helmets) off to them… or should that be on for them?

  6. WheresWaldo on

    @Antipodean_G – This is the most simplistic view of head protection that always gets spouted off by people who want to justify to themselves and others that they spent more than anyone else on a helmet. Your “high priced” POC isn’t worth any more cents than the guy who bought any other CPSC Approved (in the US) helmet for a fraction of the price. Unless POC specifically states that they exceed all safety standards and give specific numbers / examples. It provides no more protection than the run of the mill CPSC Approved Bell helmet that someone else bought from Walmart.

    Whether or not this is a good use of technology, only time will tell. It will have too limited a scope to be of any consequence to the general cycling public. This should be seen for what it is, a technology test and a marketing device, nothing more.

    Before anyone b*tches at me about their helmets, I ride with a Laser Genesis. Yes its a higher priced helmet. I just don’t fool myself into thinking that I actually have more protection than the next guy. I use it because of the styling, the retention system and the venting, not out of some made up notion that it is safer.

  7. i on

    Speaking from a small sample size here (1), but every close call I’ve had involving a Volvo involved the driver texting. Given the number of phone-caused accidents, I’d say the best investment in making cars safer would be figuring out a way to disable cell phones in and around moving cars.

    @waldo: “Unless POC specifically states that they exceed all safety standards and give specific numbers / examples.” Unfortunately, in the US it is illegal to publish data on additional testing beyond CPSC; that’s why MIPS claims are so vague. For that matter, helmets with more coverage in the back of the head sure seem (to me at least) like they should be safer, but they are tested to the same standards so for all any of us know a Bell super is equally safe as a road helmet that doesn’t cover the back of the head at all.
    That’s right, your government, by the CPSC is effectively making safer helmets illegal. God bless America…

  8. Mirwin on

    I find it puzzling that cyclists are bashing efforts by a car and a bike helmet company to minimize car-bike collisions. Yeah, it’s just a terrible idea.

  9. Psi Squared on

    +1 to what Mirwin said. The more manufacturers work together to find solutions like this, the more likely real solutions will be found. The car vs. bike problem isn’t the result of one single problem, so one solution won’t fix everything. It can however make things better, even if it’s only by a little bit.

  10. WheresWaldo on

    @i – My belief is that Most of these companies only design and test to meet the minimum standards anyway. So I already said the cheap BELL has as much protection as the more expensive models. If you are from the EU, you might want to dismount your high horse as their CEN European Standard doesn’t provide any more protection than our US standard. Admitted there are a couple of EU countries that have additional test standards.

    In 2014, we have lost a few cyclists in my metropolitan area, most were not seen as a vehicle came over a bend or made a turn. It might have been helpful in these situations. One man purposely ran into a group ride, this wouldn’t have helped here. While the technology may seem like a step forward, unless it is widely adopted, it is just a marketing exercise. It would also go a long way if this where in the Public Domain or if there were assurances that no licensing fees were associated with adoption. Just to be clear on this, there is only the Smartphone addition that makes this any different than any other collision avoidance system. Why do we need to force all cyclist to carry a Smartphone to make this work?

  11. WheresWaldo on

    Sorry this wasn’t in one comment

    @SNIPE-HUNTER – Wouldn’t work Garmin’s Official Team Car is an Audi, no OnStar here.

  12. BANXX on

    I guess I’m going to buy in to the marketing scheme then. These companies have always been about safety, and it’s nice that they have something to show for it. No, it’s not a perfect idea, and I don’t think anybody expected the first idea like this to be.

    By the way… you WEAR a helmet, look WHERE the car is coming from, and this would go a long way if this WERE in the public domain. And beWARE of WAREwolves.

  13. Antipodean_G on

    @WheresWaldo “My belief…” is… just that.

    And you can bash CEN all you like, that’s fine. But it’s because of CEN that bikes are now inherently better built. And yes, I have read all the tests, been part of having frames tested to CEN and yes, I do question some of the testing. Regardless, the EU’s CEN standards have led to an overall tightening of build quality over many areas of the bike industry.

    @BANXX hear *here* to correct use of English wordage 😉

  14. Psi Squared on

    What system of any sort would avoid every dangerous situation? The answer is none, but that’s no reason to work on systems that might prevent some of the dangerous situations.

  15. frogg on

    “car/cyclist collision” ; in these 3 words, everything is said. And it’s repeated ad nauseum where a cyclist is hit by a DRIVER using his car. As if the driver had no responsibility. It’s just “the car”. Doesn’t matter if the driver was drunk, using his smartphone or changing a CD while DRIVING a two ton car at speed. I don’t think more gadgetry will change anything to the current state of mind. We are just in a CAR minded society.


COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.