New Skoda aims to save cyclists from being hit by car doors

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:00 pm

The new Skoda Octavia will help stop drivers and passengers hitting cyclists with their door thanks to a new alert system.

“Dooring”, where a car occupant unwittingly opens their door into the path of a cyclist, can have serious consequences for bike users but Skoda claims its new exit warning system could help reduce instances.

The system uses the car’s blind spot detection system to monitor the sides and rear of the car, even when it is parked. If a cyclist is detected, the system will warn the driver through a series of visual warnings and by sounding an alert, both of which will continue until the hazard has passed or the doors have been closed.

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A Skoda spokesman said: “Naturally cyclists face daily challenges associated with cycling on busy roads, including avoiding car doors as they open. The technology introduced in the new Octavia, particularly exit warning, is there to assist drivers in helping to mitigate and reduce potential accidents.”

The fourth generation Octavia also features predictive cycling protection, an enhanced forward collision warning that triggers a “cascade” of warnings if a cyclist is detected ahead – and will even engage the emergency brakes if necessary to avoid any possible accident.

Also new to the Octavia is turn assist, making it the first car in its class to be offered with the technology, and collision avoidance assist. Using on-board cameras, the turn assist system can monitor oncoming traffic when turning right at a junction, and if danger is detected when executing a manoeuvre, can automatically bring the car to a complete standstill.

Collision avoidance assist also uses the front-facing cameras to detect an impending accident and take evasive action, including applying steering. It uses real-time data provided by cameras and radars to calculate the most appropriate trajectory around the potential danger.

The new Octavia is also the first to come with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain alongside traditional petrol and diesel options. Priced from £22,390 it’s available to order now.