Researchers at Cranfield University have developed an external airbag that they say will significantly reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in the event of a crash.
The system deploys a bonnet-mounted airbag at the base of the windscreen, which research shows is where a pedestrian’s head is most likely to hit. The system uses radar and infrared technology to “pre-detect” a collision and inflates quickly enough to cushion the impact, said Roger Hardy of the university’s Cranfield Impact Centre.
“Test results indicate that the system works extremely well,” Hardy said of the system, which was tested on a Fiat Stilo. “When fitted to a demonstrator vehicle not originally designed with pedestrian protection in mind, the results were well inside all current legal criteria for pedestrian protection currently in force in Europe.”