Swedish car manufacturer Volvo build some of the safest cars on the roads, protecting passengers from injury or worse. Now, the company has gone even further to protect not only those in the car but pedestrians at risk as well, with a new pedestrian airbag. The additional airbag will be built in to all new V40 models.
In addition to a long list of new features designed to protect the passengers, the new V40 will ensure that the chances of a driver hitting a pedestrian are lessened, and if it does happen, their chances of survival are increased. Volvo has also equipped the hatchback with a lane keeping aid which actively assists drivers to stay on course and sensors to assess if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of a car.
More specifically a Pedestrian Detection system uses a combination of grill-mounted radar and a video camera to detect and recognize a person in the vehicle’s path. It can also gauge if they’re moving and based on the car’s current speed, whether the two are on a collision course. If so, an alarm will alert the driver of the potential danger. What’s more, if there is no time for the driver to break in time, the car will simply do it on its own.
But, if the system detects that the car cannot avoid hitting the passenger this is where the new airbag comes in – sensors in the bumper register the impact at which point the hood is released and automatically raised by an inflating airbag. The airbag extends far enough to provide a cushion as the person rolls up onto the vehicle.
A spokesperson commented that, “When a pedestrian is hit along the width of the front bumper beam, the airbag is activated from the lower part of the windscreen and lifts the rear edge of the bonnet to create additional free space in the engine compartment.”
Watch how the airbag deploys in the video below: