Skoda’s new tech should stop drivers dooring cyclists

By topgear, 26 June 2020

Cars and bicycles, drivers and cyclists. Ever since they began sharing the roads there have been arguments and accidents. But now, just like Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy in the greatest figure skating film of all time, they have an opportunity to come together.

With coronavirus steering folk away from public transport, commuting by car and bicycle will surely become more popular than ever, and Skoda is hoping that its new tech will make things safer for those on two wheels.

The fourth-gen Octavia is apparently one of the most cycle-friendly cars ever built, with new tech that could make car and bike collisions a thing of the past.

The first system is something called Exit Warning, which uses the car’s Blind Spot Detection sensors to spot approaching bicyclists when the car is stationary. While they’re riding past, a series of visual and audio alerts let passengers know not to open their door – something former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling could have done with in his Land Rover Discovery…

The Octavia also gets ‘Predictive Cycling Protection’ and ‘Turn Assist’, with both able to apply the brakes and bring the car to a stop if a cyclist is detected ahead or at a junction. And then there’s Skoda’s Collision Avoidance Assist system, which can now perform evasive manoeuvres such as The Iron Lotus (okay we got carried away with the Blades of Glory references, but it will actually steer around cyclists if the driver isn’t paying attention).

Pretty impressive stuff, then, and presumably some welcome news for cyclists fed up of getting doored by passengers jumping out of cars. Now, where did we put that lycra?

STORY Greg Potts

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