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Volvo Cars Will Warn Bicyclists of Impending Collisions

Now, if only you could tell that the door of a parked car was about to open....

1 min read
Volvo Cars Will Warn Bicyclists of Impending Collisions
Photo: Volvo

Volvo is planning to share information gathered by its cars with bicycle riders. When a car senses trouble, it shoots a cellphone signal to the rider’s helmet, making it flash a light and sound an alarm.

Collaborators include Ericsson, the communications company, and POC, a sporting equipment company—both, like Volvo, based in Sweden. The system will be displayed two weeks from now at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

POC’s helmet is the really new thing. Cycling apps already exist for smart phones, and traffic information is already being gathered by Volvo cars equipped with the City Safety system. It warns the driver when the car’s path is liable to intersect with the paths of nearby cars, cyclists and pedestrians. The logical next step is to funnel that warning through the Cloud, so that others can benefit from it.

Such car-to-car communications systems are coming soon in the United States, and perhaps even sooner in Europe, where standards are being forged both for that purpose and for car-to-infrastructure communications.

Volvo says that cars cause half of all cycling fatalities in Europe, a statistic that appears to refer only to collisions with moving vehicles. But cyclists also face the threat of parked cars whose doors suddenly open. How about connecting some door sensors to the Cloud as well?


 

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy
Purple

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-range radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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