Adelaide, January 21, 2015: Australians' love affair with the bicycle continues unabated, with record numbers of bikes being sold. In October alone nearly 230,000 bicycles were imported into Australia.

But an unfortunate downside of the popularity of cycling has been a big increase in the number of deaths and serious injuries as a result of cars colliding with cyclists on our roads. In 2014, 45 cyclists were killed in Australia. In 2013, 50 cyclists died.

Now Volvo is aiming to improve safety for cyclists with a new concept based on helmet technology that communicates with cars. Developed by Volvo in conjunction with communications giant Ericsson and sports gear manufacturer POC, the technology is integrated into both a cyclist's helmet and the Volvo car's safety system.

The ground-breaking technology establishes a two-way connection between the car and the cyclist via a smartphone app. The exact positions of the cyclist and the car are shared with Volvo cloud database. If an imminent collision is predicted at any angle, the driver of the car will be alerted to the cyclist's presence via a head-up display alert. The cyclist will also receive a visible warning through a helmet-mounted alert light.

Until now no car manufacturer has put a stake in the ground to help address this life and death issue by using connected safety technology. Volvo has also developed lane changing radar technology for its trucks which can detect cyclists.

Volo Car Australia's Managing Director Kevin McCann said the helmet concept was particularly relevant with the start of the Tour Downunder this week when thousands of extra cyclists will take to the streets around Adelaide.

"The big attendances at the Tour Downunder demonstrates the growing popularity of cycling in Australia, and this mirrors what is happening globally as more and more people take to their bikes. Unfortunately this has resulted in an increase in serious cycling accidents. It's an issue that Volvo Cars believes is unacceptable and requires an innovative and concerted effort to address.

"Volvo Cars' City Safety system - standard on the all-new XC90 - is a technology that can detect, warn and auto-brake to avoid collisions with cyclists. It was the car industry's first step to seriously address cyclist safety, and it has paved the way for this latest advance in safety technology."

Champion Australian cyclist Simon Gerrans has welcomed the new helmet technology concept. The ORICA GreenEdge cyclist says one of his greatest fears is not being seen by a driver, and being knocked off his bike.

"As a professional cyclist I spend a lot of time training on the road, so there is always that fear in the back of your mind about accidents. Unfortunately it's an occupational hazard for professional cyclists like me, and increasingly for recreational cyclists too.

"If this new Volvo technology can help reduce that risk it will potentially save lives and give cyclists like me greater peace of mind on the road."

Note to News Editors:

ORICA GreenEDGE cyclist Simon Gerrans is available for comment on this announcement. To arrange access please contact Patrick Southam at GSG Counsel on 0419 415 998 or email

About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 427,000 in 2013 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

For further information please contact:

Oliver Peagam
Public Affairs Manager
Volvo Car Australia
T: 02 9020 1613
M: 0408 691 017