Volvo has made a bold claim about the safety of its cars. The automaker says that by 2020, it aims that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in one of its vehicles.
However, Volvo is also looking out for the little guy on the street. Volvo's latest V40, a five-door hatchback that debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, is the world's first car to feature pedestrian airbags.
As you can see in the video above, when the car detects that a pedestrian has been struck, the trailing edge of the hood pops up and a U-shaped airbag deploys to cover the area in which a pedestrian's head might strike.
Such head injuries are one of the main causes of death in pedestrian impacts, as the head comes into contact with a particularly solid object like the hood or windscreen. Roughly 12 percent of road deaths in the U.S. are through such accidents, and an even greater number in Europe, according to Mashable.
Several vehicles have already utilized pop-up hoods to ensure an unfortunate pedestrian doesn't contact with the hard engine block below, but Volvo's is the first system to cushion the blow further. Though the automaker can't prevent all injuries, it should at least prevent a few more deaths.
That's if cars and pedestrians are unlucky enough to connect in the first place, of course. The V40 also features Volvo's pedestrian detection system, which can automatically brake the car should someone step out into the road in front of you.
We expect the pedestrian airbag will become a familiar feature in future Volvos, as well as vehicles from other manufacturers.