'Nobody to die in a new Volvo'
WORLD'S FIRST PEDESTRIAN AIR BAG: Volvo has always been dedicated to crash protection and hopes that through new technology, such as its pedestrian air bag, it will play a major role in reducing road deaths.
The world's first air bag to protect pedestrians is the next step towards the Swedish automaker Volvo's target that nobody should be killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
Except surely a pedestrian is OUTSIDE the car?
Each year, 1.3-million people are killed on the world's roads. Volvo launched a unique goal in that "...by 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo".
To achieve that aim the Swedish automaker has come up with a number of vehicle safety technologies such as lane and pedestrian detection systems. In 2012, Volvo will launch its pedestrian airbag, standard on the new V40 launched in Geneva 2012.
PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION STANDARD
It is hoped that Volvo's new pedestrian airbag will reduce the number of fatalities, currently 14% in Europe and 25% in China.
The system is active at between 20 and 50km/h since 75% of all accidents involving pedestrians take place at speeds up to 40km/h.
Serious head injuries are caused by the pedestrians hitting the bonnet, windscreen and A-pillars. Seven sensors embedded in the front of the car transmit signals to a control unit. When the car comes into contact with an object, the control unit evaluates the whether it is a human leg and deploys the pedestrian airbag.
The bonnet hinges are each equipped with release mechanisms which, when the system is activated, release the rear of the bonnet. At the same time, the airbag is activated and starts filling within in milliseconds with gas. During the inflation sequence the airbag raises the bonnet by 10cm and stays in a raised position.
The added gap between the bonnet and the hard components in the engine compartment gives space for the bonnet to deform, creating a dampening effect when it is struck by a pedestrian.
Thomas Broberg, senior technical advisor at Volvo, says: "The airbag has two functions. Firstly, it raises the bonnet to create distance, and secondly it cushions the impact around the hard parts of the area near the windscreen."
In its inflated position, the airbag covers the entire windscreen wiper recess, a third of the windscreen and the lower part of the A-pillars.
Watch the video below: