Volvo, not surprisingly, has come up with a novel safety feature: a pedestrian airbag.
The U-shaped bag deploys in the area between the car's hood and the windshield in the event of a car-pedestrian collision:
The Volvo system sensors rapidly detect a car-pedestrian impact and respond much like what happens in a car-to-car collision. That triggers the section of the hood closest to the windshield to pop up slightly, a U-shaped airbag emerging from underneath, and forming a cushion around the base and sides of the windshield and A-pillars.
The system is one of many high-tech safety features being introduced on the Swedish carmaker’s V40 wagon, which is making its debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.
Automakers have been working on external safety features in response to strict EU laws regarding car-pedestrian accidents. These collisions account for nearly a quarter of vehicle-related fatalities, MSNBC reports.
In addition to the airbag, Volvo has developed sensor-based alarm systems to prevent collisions in the first place.