Volvo claims it doesn’t want anyone to die in or as a direct result of its vehicles and the latest safety risk it’s seeking to address is cyclists.

In concert with POC , a Swedish maker of sporting goods and bicycle helmets, Volvo is developing a first-of-its-kind test to pinpoint the dangers of a vehicle to bicycle crash and try to make them less dangerous.

Although it isn’t the only company to test how bicycle helmets react in an accident, Volvo calls current tests “rudimentary.” So it’s trying to refine the tests.



Unlike other tests, where helmets are simply dropped onto body panels, Volvo is actually launching them at body panels to simulated the speed at which a head can hit a car in an accident. It’s also launching its “dummy heads” at the body panels without a helmet on to see exactly what the helmet does.

With this information, not only is Volvo learning how to develop safer cars, POC is learning how to build safer helmets.

“Much like Volvo Cars, safety is at the very centre of our mission and drives all our ideas and innovations,” says Oscar Huss, head of product development at POC. “By working closely with scientific leaders in the POC Lab we strive to lead the way in introducing new safety ideas.”

But even with a bike helmet on, a car-to-bike accident will never be safe, which is why Volvo has already developed cyclist detection, which works a little like its wildlife detector to slow or stop the car in the event that it sees a cyclist in its way.

“This project with POC is a good example of our pioneering spirit in safety,” said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “We often develop new testing methods for challenging traffic scenarios. Our aim is not only to meet legal requirements or pass rating tests. Instead we go beyond ratings, using real traffic situations to develop technology that further improves safety.”