Pedestrian airbag as shown on the Volvo V40
The Volvo V40 that just debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show won't be coming to America, but one of its technology components might make the trip. The snazzy five-door hatch will arrive in Europe with a special airbag just for pedestrians.
Perhaps more than any other automaker, Volvo has worked to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from accidents involving pedestrians. The company launched a special pedestrian-avoidance system on its 2010 S60, and last year, Volvo began tweaking that technology to detect animals, too.
The V40 takes those concerns to a new level with a unique airbag designed to reduce pedestrian injuries in situations where the car's pedestrian-avoidance system is unable to avoid a collision.
When the V40's bumper detects that a pedestrian has been hit, the pedestrian airbag deploys from beneath the hood of the car, covering a substantial portion of the windshield. The device is constructed in a U-shape so the driver can maintain sight of the road and bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
Though the V40 isn't yet scheduled to appear on U.S. roadways, we wouldn't be surprised if this technology began appearing on other models -- especially since, as Volvo says, roughly 12% of traffic-related fatalities in America involve pedestrians.
For a quick overview of this technology in action, check out the video clip below, courtesy of Mashable.