More automobile into pedestrian collision deaths occur in the US each year then was lost on 9/11.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 30, 2012
The Volvo V40 attacks the pedestrian collision problem quite literally head on.
The Pedestrian Airbag: Why and How it Works
In China 25 percent of traffic fatalities are pedestrians. In Europe the figure is 14 percent and in the USA 12 percent. Far larger numbers of pedestrians are injured. The most serious head injuries involving pedestrians and cars are caused by the hard structure under the bonnet panel, the windscreen's lower edge and the A-pillars.
These were some of the considerations when Volvo Car Corporation started development of its Pedestrian Airbag Technology. The system was a world breakthrough when the all-new Volvo V40 was launched in Geneva earlier this year.
Seven sensors, advanced technology and an airbag that deploys in the blink of an eye “outside
” the windscreen. The Volvo V40 Pedestrian Airbag makes Volvo the first manufacturer to offer a pedestrian airbag.
The sensors located in front of the car transmit signals to a control unit. When the car comes into contact with an object, the signals change. The control unit evaluates the signals and if it registers what it interprets as a human leg the pedestrian airbag is deployed.
The hood hinges are each equipped with pyrotechnical release mechanisms which, when the system is activated, pull out a pin and release the rear of the hood panel. At the same time, the airbag is activated and starts filling with gas. During the inflation sequence the airbag raises the bonnet. It is lifted 2.5 inches and stays in the raised position.
The added gap between the hood and the hard components in the engine compartment gives space for it to deform, creating a dampening effect when it is hit by a pedestrian.
In its inflated position, the airbag covers the entire windscreen wiper recess, about one-third of the windscreen and the lower part of the A-pillars. The entire sequence from activation of the system to full inflation takes a few hundredths of a second.
Two years ago, Volvo launched Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake. The system can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 22 mph if the driver does not respond in time. At higher speeds the focus is on reducing the car's speed as much as possible before the collision.
The Volvo V40 Pedestrian Airbag