Volvo makes hitting pedestrians more fun, less messy

The new Volvo V40 proudly offers the world's first production airbag designed not for you or your passengers, but for pedestrians. Now, when you smack into people with the temerity to think that they have the right of way on roads (roads are for cars!), it'll be a much more enjoyable experience for everyone concerned. Or at least, more enjoyable than the alternative.

The way not to kill people when you hit them with your car involves, as far as Volvo is concerned, a bunch of sensors on the bumper along with a big airbag mounted under the hood. All you have to do is aim for someone and hit them square with the center of your bumper at a high enough speed to toss them up onto your hood. If everyone's lucky, the under-hood airbag will inflate faster than you can say "two points!" and the hood will pop up, providing a (relatively) cushy surface for the target victim to land upon.

In the event that hitting pedestrians is not your goal, the V40 also comes with "Pedestrian Detection," which uses radar and a camera to track people moving in front of the car. The system can "trace a pedestrian's pattern of movement and also to calculate whether he or she is likely to step into the road in front of the car," and if they do, the car will first warn you and then automatically apply the brakes all by itself in an effort to prevent (or at least mitigate) the collision. I'm fairly certain that the V40 will do this even if you are aiming for someone, so that's just another thing to keep in mind when considering which car to purchase next.

Volvo, via Gizmag

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