Ground breaking research will see car pitted against cyclist in the quest to develop a safer bike helmet.

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

That’s because accidents between bikes and vehicles often lead to death or serious injury.

Current bike helmet testing procedures however are fairly rudimentary.

They involve dropping helmets from different heights on either a flat or angled surface, and do not take into account vehicle to bike accidents.

The Volvo-POC research project consists of a number of specially designed crash tests which will be conducted at Volvo’s famous safety research facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The research is part of a wider research project to understand the types of long-term injuries sustained by cyclists.

During these tests, POC bike helmets will be worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig, that will be launched towards different areas of the bonnet of a static car — at different speeds and angles for various measurements.

The tests are based on existing regulatory test procedures for pedestrian head protection.

The Volvo-POC project aims to further refine and advance such testing.

Volvo vehicles are fitted with Cyclist detection with full auto brake that 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 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 valuable insights and learnings for Volvo Cars into these types of accidents for future development.


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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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