New Volvo V40 is the first car to feature pedestrian airbags
Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Volvo V40 possesses some high-tech features, including the world's first pedestrian airbag system. The five-door, five-seater sibling to the Volvo C30 features (as standard) front bumper sensors that register the physical contact between the car and a pedestrian. When impact occurs, a section of the bonnet (closest to the windscreen) is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet, around one-third of the windscreen as well as the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help to reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.
Furthermore, the system is coupled with Pedestrian Detection technology that can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver is unable to respond in time, the car automatically activates the brakes.
The Volvo V40 also features updated City Safety technology, Lane Keeping Aid with haptic auto steering, automatic Road Sign Information, Active High Beam technology and Park Assist Pilot Cross Traffic Alert.
The interior of the V40 features a fixed panorama glass roof that stretches from the front windscreen to the backrest of the rear seats, interior lighting designed to give a "theater lighting" feel, and a frameless interior rear-view mirror inspired by modern smartphone designs.
The chassis has been designed to offer "a responsive, agile and connected driving experience." The rigid body and low center of gravity reportedly promote an alert, quick-responding character that focuses on the driving experience, yet without compromising the comfort of the ride. The rear monotube dampers feature compression and return damping via the same valve. This gives shorter, faster fluid flow, which in turn means that the damper responds more quickly. In the Sport chassis setting, the car is lowered 10 mm (0.4 in) compared with the Dynamic chassis. Springs and shock absorbers have a firmer setting, resulting in a responsive drive with full control.
The V40 also comes available with a new, fully graphic instrument cluster. This active Thin Film Transistor (TFT) crystal display allows the driver to choose between three graphic themes: Elegance, Eco or Performance.
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A little animation would be nice. It could show the difference between getting run into (and thrown in the air) or being run over by a Volvo V40.
1. Accurate detection of unavoidable impact 2. Deployment of protective airbag before collision takes place
Next we will be required to wear motorcylce helmets in our cars and padded saftey body suits.
Te best solution? The German suburban street speed limit of 30 km/hr is probably the most effective. At that speed it is possible for even the most dense driver to slow to a speed that will only cause minor injuries, hopefully. But gosh, it's hard to drive that slowly in a manual. Try it. They do it!
Secondly, a lot of the injury comes from the sickening fall of the hit person as they roll off the windscreen or bonnet to the ground below. In all three incidents that I witnessed, they landed on their heads.
What could effect more protection would be for a long low-mounted bag to open to form a soft landing, although you could put money on the person being hit so hard that they are thrown beyond such a landing pad. But then they are probably doomed anyway.
Basically, any time you hear a person, of any age, decrying pedestrians for ‘getting in the way’, or being ‘stupid old fools’, et al, they should be reported, and grounded for psychological assessment before, maybe, being allowed to drive again.
p.s. One of the young men, the one who killed the most incredibly cautious lady, took his own life a year later, wracked with his grief and regret at his stupidity on the day.