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POC and Volvo Cars Announce Groundbreaking Cycling Safety Technology

STOCKHOLM (Dec. 19, 2014) — POC and Volvo Cars will present the exciting first results of their partnership at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, January 6-9, 2015, with a unique safety technology which connects drivers and cyclists for the first time.

In a groundbreaking move for the automotive industry, Volvo Cars and POC will present the safety technology, which consists of a connected car and helmet prototype that establishes two-way communication offering proximity alerts to Volvo drivers and cyclists with the aim of reducing accidents.

The partnership between POC, a leading manufacturer of skiing and cycling helmets, apparel and accessories, and Volvo Cars, the Swedish pioneer in automotive safety innovations, was established in January 2014 to exchange knowledge and experience to mutually explore new ideas within safety and design. The initial research and development project has been focused on communication between cars and cyclists.

“Our partnership with Volvo is both humbling and rewarding, and aligns very well with our mission to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists,” says Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder. “Our mutual view and focus on safety has resulted in a unique safety concept that can improve road safety through increased interaction between motorists and cyclists.”

By using popular smartphone cycling apps, like Strava, the cyclist’s position can be shared through the Volvo cloud to the car, and vice versa. If an imminent collision is calculated, both road users will be warned. The Volvo driver will be alerted to a cyclist nearby through a heads-up display alert—even if the cyclist does not appear in view (e.g. behind a bend, another vehicle, or during low visibility). The cyclist will also be warned via a helmet-mounted alert light as well as vibration.

“The strategic partnership between Volvo, POC and Ericsson is an important milestone in investigating the next steps toward Volvo’s goal to build cars that will not crash anymore,” says Klas Bendrik, VP and Group CIO at Volvo Cars. “In 2013, Volvo was the first car manufacturer to introduce the Cyclist Detection System with fully automatic emergency braking in city traffic. And now with this innovative new technology, we are getting ever closer to eliminating the remaining blind spots between cars and cyclists forever.”

The unique safety concept is a result of the all-Swedish partnership between Volvo Cars and POC and has exciting development opportunities and will ultimately help save lives across the whole spectrum of unprotected road users.

“We are proud to take this step with Volvo and what we will present at CES is only the first among many initiatives together. We are excited to see how we can continue to contribute to make cycling safer and further support our mission,” adds Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder.

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Notes to editors:
• Globally, 132.3 million bicycles were sold in 2013 (source: NPD Group 2013)
• Beijing government hopes ¼ of people would use cycling to commute in 2015 (source: The Guardian, Nov. 2013)
• In the Swedish city of Gothenburg alone, the number of bikers raised 30% in 2013 (source: Göteborg Posten, Nov. 2014)
• 4,533 cyclists were injured in Berlin only in 2012 (source: The Guardian, Nov. 2013)
• 55% of cyclist fatalities in EU-23 countries occur in urban areas (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012). In the U.S. 69% of all cyclist deaths in 2012 occurred in urban areas (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Traffic Safety Facts April 2014)
• (On the road) serious injuries for U.K. cyclists in 2013 were 31% higher than in 2009 (source: Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report)
• In the U.S. 726 cyclists were killed in 2012, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2011 and 49,000 were injured, +2.1% vs. 2011 (source: NHTSA/Traffic Safety Facts, Nov. 2013)
• The total cost of bicyclist injuries and deaths is over $4 billion per year in the U.S. (source: National Safety Council 2012)
• In Germany, The Netherlands and Poland more than 85% of cyclist fatalities occurred at crossroads. (source: CARE Database, European Commission 2012)
• In some countries, pedestrians and cyclists constitute more than 75% of road deaths (source: WHO Fact Sheet # 358, March 2013) 

About POC: POC is a Swedish company with a strong mission to do the best we can to possibly save lives and to reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sport athletes and cyclists. More information at www.pocsports.com

About Volvo: Founded in Sweden in 1927, Volvo Cars is today 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 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 the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden.