Not surprisingly, the automaker who prides itself on safety more than any other has come up with one more, truly innovative feature. Strapped to the all-new, Volvo V40 sedan is the first ever airbag system designed to specifically protect people outside of the vehicle. A combination of seven sensors, a central control unit and a gas-charged, full-width air bag are brought together to create Volvo’s Pedestrian Airbag Technology.
“We are proud to be able to offer a car with an airbag for pedestrians. The purpose of the airbag is to help protect pedestrians in certain situations when they impact the bonnet and the area around the windscreen wiper recess and A-pillar, where there may be a risk of serious head injuries,” said Thomas Broberg, Senior Technical Advisor Safety at Volvo Car Corporation. The system, which has been in development for a couple of years, is specially designed to recognized a human body. Through dummy testing, the myriad of sensors have the ability to detect if an object hit is a person’s leg so that the airbag is deployed accordingly.
Mounted at the rear of the V40’s hood, the airbag itself spans the entire width of the vehicle. When activated, the system raises the hood 10 centimeters while at the same time, the air bag is fully filled with gas in just a few milliseconds. The gap created between the hood and the hard body of the car causes a damping effect so that a pedestrian can be further cushioned by a hit. When traveling between 12 mph and 31 mph, the system is active automatically.