The all-new Volvo V40 hatch has arrived in Australia with the world's first pedestrian airbag.
Sensors located in the front bumper register contact between the car and a person (including a child) before a pyrotechnic charge blows the bonnet upwards to deflect the person away from the windscreen, while simultaneously deploying an airbag to cushion the person against the engine and the windscreen.
Once inflated, the airbag shields the person from the Volvo V40's A-pillars and around one-third of the windscreen area including the wiper recess. The entire deployment sequence takes just a few hundredths of a second.
The Pedestrian Airbag technology is active at speeds between 20-50km/h, while the majority of accidents involving people occur at speeds up to 40km/h.
In Europe, 14 per cent of traffic fatalities are pedestrians. In China the figure is 25 per cent, while in the USA it's 12 per cent.
In Australia pedestrian accidents account for between 15-20 per cent of all road deaths. Over 80 per cent of the pedestrians injured or killed are struck while crossing the road.