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.