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Volvo invents the pedestrian air bag for the V40

By FaezClutchless on 16 Mar 2012

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Swedish automotive company, Volvo, has long been a pioneer in the areas of automotive safety. Over the past 60 years, the company has introduced several safety features on their cars. In 1944, they introduced laminated windshields (around 15 years before it became a worldwide mandatory for all cars); in 1966 they introduced crumple zones and side impact air bags in 1994.

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We usually often think that cars should provide safety for its internal occupants but it is also important to keep in mind that a heavy moving object could also be really dangerous to pedestrians outside the car. And due to this, Volvo has invented the external pedestrian air bag which is a world’s first.

The once-Swedish owned company latest innovation was introduced on the company’s latest V40 hatchback model which was showcased at the recent Geneva Motor Show and it is the first externally mounted airbag installed on a mass produced car. Let’s see how it works.

The system uses sensors mounted in the front bumper to detect when the car has come in contact with a pedestrian. If a collision occurs, the sensors will immediately send a signal to a large airbag mounted under the rear of the front hood which deploys out and covers both A-pillars and about one-third of the windshield.

The pedestrian air bag was designed to be a very last resort and the main goal of the engineers who developed the V40 was to avoid a collision in the first place. Volvo has mentioned that the pedestrian air bag could drastically reduce injuries in low speed collisions that occur around urban areas and the company plans to fit the innovative technology to its other models in the future.

Since Volvo did mention that their aim was to avoid a collision in the first place, they also fitted a pedestrian detection system on the V40. The system uses a sensor which is mounted on the windscreen to automatically stop the car if a collision with a pedestrian is unavoidable.

Photo credit: automotive.com and Net Car Show

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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