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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.