Volvo introduces pedestrian airbags

When it comes to driver safety, Volvo has been an innovator. The company was the first to implement the three-point safety belt, the first to utilize safety glass and the first to offer a passenger compartment steel safety cage.

In 1987, Volvo offered the first frontal airbag, now standard equipment in all new cars.

Now, Volvo is looking out for pedestrians.

The 2013 Volvo V40 offers the world the first pedestrian airbag system. Making its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the five-passenger hatchback features front bumper sensors that register the physical contact between the car and a pedestrian. When impact occurs, a section of the hood closest to windshield is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag, Gizmag reported.

According to Yahoo! News , more than 47,700 pedestrians were killed and more than 688,000 were injured last year in collisions with automobiles. That's a number Volvo hopes to see decrease with more intuitive technology. The V40, a sibling to the Volvo C30, also features an automatic breaking system designed to reduce low-speed impacts while the driver is distracted.

How does it work?

Detection technology uses radar and cameras to determine if someone steps out in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car will automatically activate the brakes. Additionally, Volvo has added an alert that uses the radar sensors at the rear end of the car to warn the driver of traffic coming in from the sides when backing out of a parking space. This audible alert is helpful in tight and crowded parking areas where obstructions, such as barriers or other cars, may impede visibility, according Consumer Reports .

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