June 03, 2019
Volvo Cars and POC develop world-first car-bike helmet crash test
Pedestrians and cyclists are some of the most vulnerable users of our public roads. Since our aim is to protect people both inside and outside of our cars, many safety features are designed specifically to protect them: think of the pedestrian and cyclist detection as part of City Safety.* But there is always room for improvement, so we joined forces with our friends from Swedish sports and safety brand POC for the next step in cyclist safety development: specially designed crash tests of bike helmets.
Both of our companies want to understand better how cyclists sustain injuries and how to prevent them, so we did something no one has ever done before: we started crash testing and developing testing procedures involving cars and cycling helmets, executed at our own safety research facilities in Gothenburg. During these tests, POC bike helmets are worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig. Then we launch the head-helmet combination towards different areas of the hood of a parked Volvo car, using different speeds and angles, in order to make various measurements.
This approach is quite a step forward compared to the usual way of testing bike helmets, where the testing is often the bike helmet being dropped from different heights on a flat or angle surface. Our research project with POC aims to refine those types of tests and improve them, so we can learn more about potential areas of improvement for future car development, while POC can make their helmets even better.
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»
According to Malin Ekholm, the head of our safety centre, this approach is typical of Volvo Cars and of our pioneering spirit when it comes to safety. After all, this is not the first time that we have developed a brand new testing method because it did not exist yet . “Our aim is not only to meet legal requirements or pass rating tests,” says Malin. “Instead we go beyond ratings, using real traffic situations to develop technology that further improves safety.”
Working together with POC is also a good illustration of our collaborative approach to improving safety. Earlier this year we launched an open-for-all digital library containing our safety knowledge, symbolising our philosophy of boosting safety by saving knowledge. And working with POC is another example of how we share knowledge between companies and boost safety together.
“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. Certification standards are essential, but they should never limit our willingness to look beyond their parameters to find better and more innovative ways to reduce the consequences of accidents.”
* Check availability of Volvo safety features with your local dealer.
Watch this video to learn more about how Volvo Cars and POC develop world-first car-bike helmet crash test.