Volvo is currently rolling out three car safety technologies–City Safety, Pedestrian Airbag, and Pedestrian Detection–as part of its goal that “By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo”. We’ve covered City Safety, which can be found in the Volvo XC60, and Pedestrian Detection is available on that car as well as the S80 XC70 in the U.S. Now we finally have details on the Pedestrian Airbag system.
The pedestrian airbag system is active when the Volvo V40 is moving between roughly 12 to 31 mph. Volvo states most vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur when the car’s moving up to 25 mph. When an accident does occur, the system deploys fast, as in hundredths of a second. Sensors throughout the front of the Volvo vehicle will transmit any impact to the edestrian airbag system’s control unit, which will determine if it’s a pedestrian (i.e., human leg) or not. If the former, the rear of the hood is blown open while, simultaneously, an airbag rapidly inflates to cover the Volvo vehicle’s lower windshield and the framing A-pillar. The now-raised hood provides a “crumple zone” to cushion the struck pedestrian from vehicle’s underlying hard chassis and engine. According to Volvo, these three areas can cause the most serious head injuries in vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
The Pedestrian Airbag system will be standard on the upcoming 2013 Volvo V40 sports wagon, which made its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Since the Volvo V40 is strictly for overseas markets, it’s unknown if and when U.S. Volvo vehicles will be equipped with the pedestrian airbag system.