The new Volvo V40 features the world's first airbag for pedestrians - aiming to reduce injuries sustained when road traffic collides with human beings.
Volvo is known for its pioneering attitude towards safety, with innovations such as the three-point inertia reel seatbelt, energy-absorbent safety cages and deformable bumpers among its substantial list of achievements.
The latest innovation takes this a step further. On impact with a pedestrian, the all-new V40 will "pop" the bonnet up by four inches using pyrotechnics to create a greater space beneath the panel's surface, cushioning the blow.
An airbag will then emerge from the base of the windscreen through the void provided by the bonnet, inflating to cover the car's A-pillars and other "hard" areas to reduce the severity of injury sustained.
According to Volvo, the device can save lives in 85 per cent of cases where individuals would otherwise have sustained life-threatening or fatal injuries at speeds between 20km/h and 50km/h.
The system works through an array of sensors fitted to the front bumper that detects how hard an object is in a crash - if an impact with a flexible object, such as a human limb, is recorded, the bonnet and airbag combination is deployed.
The new system will be standard on the all-new Volvo V40, with the Swedish manufacturer intending to roll out the system across its entire future model range.
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