In addition to vehicle collision avoidance technology for luxury cars, several automobile manufacturers are looking to upgrade these systems to be able to detect cyclists as well as vehicles. I found this article last week on ePEDALER from earlier this year: Volvo, Jaguar Developing Pioneering Cyclist Alert Systems. The article discusses how state laws that require vehicles give cyclists minimum of three feet of clearance (just recently passed here in California) still doesn't solve the problem, and Lincoln NE is pushing for LB 39 to be passed, which would require cars to move into an opposite lane when passing a cyclist, just as if they were passing another automobile.
Volvo's strategy is interesting, using sensors in bicycle helmets to communicate back to receivers in the vehicle. They revealed this at International CES in Las Vegas in January of this year. This strategy will certainly be accurate, though it requires cyclists to adopt new helmets with sensors, which will take a very long time to change over, if it ever catches on.
Jaguar Land Rover is building 'Bike Sense' which is presumably a part of the radar-based collision avoidance system, but uses unique sounds and ways (tapping on the shoulder) to alert the driver of the vehicle that they are close to a cyclist. Bike Sense research is being developed at Jaguar Land Rover's Advanced research Centre in the UK. Concern over cyclist safety on roads has grown tremendously in the last couple years, particularly in the UK where almost 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured every year in automobile accidents.
It's great to see the automobile manufacturers attempting to solve this very real problem. We've got some great ideas on how to help make cycling safer, and are excited to start experimenting with some of them very soon!