Volvo releases pedestrian air bags

Bless Volvo. Beyond bubble-wrapping passengers, they’re now cushioning pedestrians too.

The Swedish car maker is poised to unveil a world-first exterior airbag for its new V40 hatchback.

Designed to protect the head of pedestrians from further injury after an initial impact, the new airbag is positioned in front of the car’s windscreen and will cover the whole front section of the vehicle.

When the car detects an impact at the front bumper, a U shaped airbag will be deployed, covering the bonnet, windscreen and windscreen pillars.

It's an innovative move that ensures Volvo remains at the forefront of vehicle safety, as well as retaining a top score under the new EuroNCAP safety test scoring system, which has revised criteria placing increased importance on pedestrian safety.

Hakan Abrahamsson, program manager for the V40, told

"With this class-leading safety package, including enhanced focus on pedestrian protection, the all-new V40 aims for a full star rating in the new, sharpened 2012 Euro NCAP safety tests."

The pedestrian airbag will come standard when the Volvo V40 arrives in Australia in 2013, and it will be officially revealed at the Geneva motor show in March.

189 pedestrians were killed on Australian roads last year, making up 15 percent of the national’s total road toll.

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