'Nobody to die in a new Volvo'

2012-05-24 09:48

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.


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:

  • The-third - 2012-05-24 12:31

    What happens in a bumper bashing? Everything flies out and then costs a whackload to replace/put back?

      Pagel - 2012-05-26 19:57

      Read Bud: "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" (if it is a human leg).

  • Abdul - 2012-05-24 13:59

    Safer Cars!! GREAT. How about safer drivers????go take a look at wwwfatalmovesdotcom

  • Josias - 2012-05-24 15:45

    Volvos are good if you have kids or a baby. Let other manufactures follow to make their cars safe, especially bmw...don't get me wrong I love your 1992 bmw 325is for spinning and doughnuts but your cars should more safer if not than volvos

      erik.p.vanwyk - 2012-05-24 19:32

      I don't understand your comment.So if you don't have kids or a baby then Volvo is a bad car?\r\nBMW's are safe mate but why do you claim they should be safer?

  • SublimeOwl - 2012-05-24 17:07

    Who's gonna fork out for the airbag when its done its business...? Your insurance shortfall (you), the unemployed street-crosser...? Given that the Gov't charges you a Carbon Tax, there should be a rebate for this safety measure...

  • Mogo - 2012-05-24 22:48

    Great!...What about midgets?

  • ronald.ragadza - 2012-05-25 10:03

    A good introduction by Volvo. I have been caught by a surprise with the safety feature activation on my S60 and I was impressed. Lets hope this pedestrian airbag will also work. Hope the insurance premium wont be too high.

  • gwilym.howes - 2012-05-27 18:12

    Airbags OUSIDE the car to protect passengers that ought to be on the pavement rather than the road in the first place! Crazy! Volvo has lost th plot. There is a far simpler and fairer solution than a pedestrian airbag to reduce padestrian deaths. Keep cars off the pavemnt, and pedestrians off the road. No: I do NOT want 1c of my new car's price to go to protecting pedestrians! Now, a 'roo bar to protect my paintwork, THAT may be an idea...

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