Swedish auto maker Volvo has just announced that the new Volvo V40 will have an external airbag on the front of the car designed to help protect pedestrians in the event of a collision.
Internal airbags have become commonplace as a safety feature for car drivers and passengers, but Swedish auto maker Volvo has just announced what it says is a first: an external airbag on the front of the car designed to help protect pedestrians in the event of a collision. Volvo’s new 2013 V40, introduced earlier this week at the Geneva Motor Show, actually adds several new safety-minded features to the vehicle’s design, including a lane-keeping aid with haptic auto steering, a cross-traffic alert radar system to detect vehicles to the rear of the car, and a pedestrian-detection system with an auto brake function. Perhaps most groundbreaking among them, however, is the car’s front pedestrian airbag. If collision with a pedestrian is deemed unavoidable by the detection system’s auto brake technology, sensors in the front bumper register the physical contact between car and pedestrian. The rear end of the bonnet is then released and simultaneously elevated by the deploying airbag. Once inflated, that airbag aims to reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries by covering the area under the raised bonnet plus about one-third of the windscreen area and the lower part of the A-pillar. Volvo aims to ensure that “nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020,” says Thomas Broberg, the company’s senior safety advisor. Other auto makers around the globe: what about you? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann