Bosch, the world’s largest automotive components manufacturer, has unveiled a new automated emergency braking system that uses radar to detect cyclists, with the German company saying the technology will even work in fog and could cut the number of cyclists killed or injured in road traffic collisions by almost half.
It has also developed a system to warn vehicle occupants when cyclists are approaching from behind, in a bid to prevent dooring incidents.
According to the company, which is based near Stuttgart, its Bosch iBooster, which also uses video to detect bike riders, can activate full automatic braking in 190 milliseconds – equivalent to the time it takes to brake twice.
Board director Dr Dirk Hoheisel commented: “Driver assistance systems are the next step along the path toward accident-free driving.
“These electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can.
"They provide support just where drivers need it – in busy city traffic," he added.
Citing government statistics, the company says that 393 cyclists were killed on Germany’s roads in 2016, equivalent to 12 per cent of the country’s road traffic fatalities, with two in three of those crashes involving a car.
The company claims that equipping all new cars sold in the country with the technology would cut cyclist casualties by 43 per cent, or at least reduce the severity of the injuries sustained.
“An emergency braking assistant may reduce braking distance by the few crucial centimetres that can mean the difference between life and death,” explained Gerhard Steiger, president of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division.
Radar sensors originally designed to track lane changes on highways, meanwhile, have been adapted to also warn drivers and their passengers of the presence of people on bikes.
The car exit warning is activated for all doors, remains live for several minutes after the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off, and has a radius of 20 metres.
Both developments will be featured by Bosch at the Frankfurt International Car Show next month, and in the meantime the company has produced a video showing the automated emergency braking system in operation, which you can watch here on the Autoblog website.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.