When talking about autonomous driving, or electronic safety, buses may not be the first vehicles that come to mind. Indeed, we take for granted that they are big enough to be noticed by every road user. Unfortunately, collisions between buses and pedestrians, or buses and cyclists, are still far too frequent. That led Swedish automaker Volvo to design an all-new detection system made specificially for buses.
Part of the manufacturer’s plan to save pedestrians and the world in the process, Volvo designed a fairly common device for anyone who lives in the city, a horn. But not just any kind of horn.
Called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System, the new technology continually monitors what is going on around the bus using a camera. Everytime the system detects a road user that is not protected near the bus, it emits a sound as well as a series of light indicators to warn drivers in the area. If the system detects that the danger has intensified and the risk of collision is growing, the horn will sound even louder.
The new technology is currently in its early stages, and more extensive testing is planned this fall. Other active safety systems such as collision warning and automatic braking, as well as lane-keep assist, will also soon undergo testing on Volvo buses.
If all goes well, we may seen them being used in certain cities around the world starting in 2017.