Volvo, a company historically known for its focus on safety, has released details about a "pedestrian airbag" feature for its V40. They describes it thus: "In order to mitigate the consequences if a collision with a pedestrian is unavoidable, the Volvo V40 features newly developed Pedestrian Airbag Technology, a world first. It works like this: Sensors in the front bumper register the physical contact between the car and the pedestrian. The rear end of the bonnet is released and at the same time elevated by the deploying airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet plus approximately one third of the windscreen area and the lower part of the A-pillar. The raised bonnet and airbag will help reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries."
Here's a video showing how it works:
It has generated a bit of controversy. Would it help make drivers less careful about how they drive (the theory that says that seatbelts and airbags make people drive worse), increasing the number of pedestrians that are hit by cars? Or is it a step in the right direction because no matter what we do there's still going to be some pedestrians hit by cars and we might as well try to mitigate the risks of serious injury.
Personally I tend to agree more with the latter, because I don't think any driver will think it's fine to hit someone just because of this, but I'm curious to know what you think. Please vote in the poll below and/or leave a comment: