Volvo always seems to be up to something new in the world of safety, and now it's working with another Swedish company called POC to learn about and ultimately improve bicycle safety. Specifically, Volvo and POC (which makes cycling safety gear and apparel) are figuring out crash testing for bike helmets as related to cars. Any time a car crashes into a cyclist is scary, and this testing is a step toward developing safer helmets and maybe even safer cars.
This new crash testing is done with crash dummies wearing POC bike helmets on their heads. Volvo says "they are launched towards different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car, at different speeds and angles for various measurements." It's interesting to watch in the video Volvo and POC made — the "dummies" are basically hard, round objects inside the helmet, and they get thrown into the car with some serious speed. There will also be testing of dummies without helmets, to have a point of comparison.
Apparently, current bike helmet testing procedures aren't very high-tech in nature. Volvo and POC say most regulatory testing involves dropping helmets from different heights onto flat or angled surfaces, without taking various forms of vehicle impacts into account. This new testing should help POC design its helmets to better withstand an impact from the stupid-heavy missiles we all ride around in called cars. Volvo claims this testing will also provide insights it can take apply to vehicle design in the future.
There are tons of bikers on the roads in cities, so this testing seems like a good idea. Mobility scooter riders seem to be at just as much risk these days, as Birds and Limes zip through traffic and on sidewalks in cities all over. However, we've all noticed that helmets don't appear to be top of mind with scooter riders. Perhaps in the future we'll have helmets that can save more of our heads when smacked by a car, just as Volvo and POC are testing here.