Skoda has released details of new technology designed to prevent drivers opening doors into cyclists. The new ‘Exit Warning’ system will debut on some versions of the new Octavia, which has already gone on sale in the UK.

Fitted as part of the blind-spot detection system, which notifies the driver if there is a vehicle in the blind spots over their shoulders, Exit Warning will come as standard on Octavias in SE L First Edition trim. That is currently the top-of-the-line model, but the technology will also come as standard on more luxurious models when they arrive in the family car’s range.

The technology uses sensors capable of ‘seeing’ up to 35 metres from the rear of the vehicle, with a 120-degree field of view. The system can then alert drivers or front-seat passengers to the presence of a cyclist using a series of visual and aural warnings, which will continue until the hazard has passed. Skoda hopes the technology will reduce the prevalence of “dooring”, where cyclists are hit by the door of a parked vehicle opened by a passenger or driver.

Exit Warning sits alongside the Octavia’s more familiar arsenal of cyclist protection systems, including Predictive Cycling Protection, which triggers warnings if a cyclist is detected up ahead. The system can even slam on the brakes if it decides action is necessary to avoid a collision.

2020 Skoda Octavia safety systems

More innovative additions include the new Turn Assist system, which is seeing service in a Skoda for the first time ever. With the help of on-board cameras, the system can monitor oncoming traffic – including cyclists and pedestrians – when turning right at junctions. If danger is detected, the vehicle will be stopped automatically, triggering the warning signals to help prevent a possible collision.

The new Octavia is also fitted with the new-to-Skoda Collision Avoidance Assist system, which can detect an impending collision and manoeuvre the car around the hazard, whether it is a cyclist or vehicle. The system uses real-time data provided by the camera array and radars to calculate the most appropriate and safest route around the potential danger.

“The all-new fourth-generation Octavia is the most technologically advanced Skoda yet and one of the most cycle-friendly cars on the market,” said a spokesperson for the brand. “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.”

Gallery: 2020 Skoda Octavia safety systems