Driver safety is undoubtedly one of the main concerns for all automakers, but so is pedestrian safety. When accidents happen, airbags inside the car can save the passengers. But, if the car collides with a pedestrian, he/she may not be so lucky. Swedish automaker Volvo has decided to change that. Volvo has built the world’s first external airbag for pedestrian safety. The carmaker has already unveiled the new safety system at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland this week.
Swedish car maker Volvo has a strong reputation for ensuring safe drives. Now, the company has taken this reputation to a new height. Its V40 (Volvo 40) model has external airbag for pedestrian safety, in time of a collision. The external/pedestrian airbag is located under the hood of the car and automatically inflates in a few hundredths of a second to cover about one-third of the windshield when activated. The external/pedestrian airbag will only, and only be launched if a collision occurs with a human at a speed of 20-50 kmph (12.4-31 mph).
There are seven sensors located at the front bumper of the vehicle. If the sensors think they’ve collided with human legs, then without any delay the sensors will send signals to the control unit. Within moments, the hood will slightly open, the airbag under the hood will come out and immediately inflate to cover the windshield wipers and pillars.
If the car is travelling above 50 kmph (31 mph), the auto-braking (the car has full auto braking system too which can prevent a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 35 kmph or 22 mph) might not be able to stop the car in time, but it could potentially bring the speed down to below 50 kmph (31 mph) so that the airbag would deploy and help to reduce human injury.
The V40’s pedestrian airbag promises to significantly reduce the risks of head injuries. The V40 was unveiled this week. Volvo Australia hasn’t confirmed any local launch date for the V40, but the model is expected to launched by late 2012 or early 2013. The price of this amazing car is £19,745 (OTR Starting Price).