DETROIT, Mich.–Continental is one tech company that has introduced a system that can predict and brake to avoid right-turn collisions with cyclists.
The system comes as a result of a mandate in Europe on all commercial trucks starting in 2020. It also is part of European NCAP rules starting in 2022, which means it will be mandated for passenger cars as well. Other suppliers are developing the technology, but Conti is ding demonstrations with the media in different cities.
How it works: The system leverages a vehicle’s adaptive cruise control, active park assist, automated emergency braking and forward collision warnings systems, and the four radar units packed into the corners of a vehicle.
The expanded capability of Conti’s system stems from a higher 77-GHz operating frequency of its radar sensors, which results in higher resolution readings. Each radar unit yields a 150-degree field of view, which gives the vehicle almost 360 degrees of sensor coverage. It detects moving objects like a cyclist up to 300 feet away.
The Conti system constantly monitors the field with data updated 20 times a second picking up the cyclist’s speed , position and direction of movement in order to predict a collision. Inside the vehicle, the driver gets a warning light after engaging the right turn signal if there is an object detected.
If the driver does not see or heed the warning light, the system engages the brakes hard, bringing the vehicle to a stop.
This is a system that has been sparked by the accident data in Europe where cyclists occupy a much greater percentage of the mobility quotient in EU cities. Continental says that 36% of all accidents in its home country of Germany that involve a bicyclist, could be avoided with this system once market penetration is achieved. That comes from analyzing accident reports.
The technology is expected to migrate to the U.S., though it has not been mandated by any states or the Federal government yet. As it is not expensive to install, it is expected that some Continental customers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo will be first to include it in U.S. models as part of active safety packages.