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Safety standards are getting tougher the world over, and in Europe newish regulations require more protection for pedestrians in a collision. In the past, designers have coped with these regs by adding more square footage to the front of a car, making the hoodline higher to put more space between a pedestrian and the engine components of a car if a collision were to occur.

Jaguar developed a new way to cope with the safety question when it debuted its Pyrotechnic Pedestrian Deployable Bonnet System on its XK line of cars in 2005. The swoop-nosed XK features small explosive charges beneath its bonnet that will blow the hood up a few inches in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.

Nissan has announced that it will include similar technology on its new Skyline, although they're going with the less sensational name "pop-up engine hood". Like with the XK, the pop-up engine hood on the Skyline will allow Nissan designers more freedom in sculpting the car's nose while still meeting various safety standards in different world markets.

[Source: Nissan]



TOKYO (August 2, 2007)--Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has developed an innovative "pop-up engine hood" to help reduce head impact injuries in the event of a pedestrian collision. The new safety feature will debut on the new Skyline coupe, set for release this fall in Japan.

The concept of the pop-up hood is based on a very simple principle: to help minimize serious head injury by creating more space to avoid collision with hard objects. In the case of a car-pedestrian collision, the engine hood is designed to pop-up instantly to help create a protective buffer space between the hood and the engine components underneath.

Upon impact with a pedestrian and based on the severity of that impact, a sensor incorporated in the bumper activates the pop-up control-unit which in turn will trigger an explosive actuator that raises the hood.

The pop-up hood also allows car designers greater freedom in having to balance the aesthetic of a streamlined hood design with the safety benefits of adding more protective space over the engine components.

On a global level, Nissan is committed to build safer vehicles equipped with advanced safety technologies. In Japan, the company's safety vision is to halve the number of traffic fatalities or serious injuries involving Nissan vehicles by 2015 compared with the level in 1995.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I feel a little uneasy. I'm wearing that exact same outfit!
      • 8 Years Ago

      There are three solutions to this problem.

      1. TURN THE STEERING WHEEL. 99% of people don't do anything to avoid an accident, they just stare at the oncoming danger(proven fact)

      2. USE THE BRAKES. Same reason as #1.

      3. STOP DIRNKING. as most of you know, dirnking slows your reflexes, which means you will need more time to avoid the collision, time you don't have.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just find it lame that almost everywhere else on this planet the car is called "Skyline" while Stateside we get G35/37. I may be wrong, but I think in Canada the car is still an Infiniti, but it's called Skyline G35. What gives?
        • 8 Years Ago
        You are wrong! It's not called a skyline here either
      • 8 Years Ago
      This seems really silly. What if the persons head is just above the hood when the charges go off? You'll throw the hood right into their head.

      When you get hit by a car, does it really make a difference how much space there is between hood and engine? What about a higher nose? Seems to me getting tagged by a car is gonna suck real bad no matter what. Just seems a strange law that likely offers very little real world benefit.

      Maybe we should make cars out of bouncy ball rubber??....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Stupid European passenger impact regs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I find the juxtaposition of this article following "IIHS reports luxury cars have expensive fender benders" to be funny. Imagine how much the pyrotechnics and hood will cost to replace with this safety system!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder how this is going to work out. How will they have the hood pop up like that, if the hood's hinges are close to the windshield? If it was to pop up like that, in my imagination, I think they will probably relocate the hinges closer to the front? But since they say "explosive", they'll have to contain that explosion too... hmm... mind pondering on how they'll accomplish this if you ask me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Haha! Great comments so far. And I thought I was the only one who thinks this is the wrong solution for the problem. And I say problem hesitantly. I can imagine people are backed into far more often than hit head on. And I'd like to see hard figures on what type of injury/mortality changes these "improvements" make.

      Sadly, I'm left with the all too familiar feeling - people are getting dumber, less considerate, more irresponsible and can't be trusted if left to their own devices.

      By the way, I'm all for Nerf cars. Perhaps with Tempurpedic bumpers?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Place those "small" collision activated explosive charges beneath the drivers seat and you just might see a significant reduction in automobile accidents.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Honda showed this exact thing in 2004. Hooray for Nissan to copy the exact idea three years later.

      • 8 Years Ago
      but when the car hits the ped, Co2 will be expended and taint the cars stats....
      but seriously ladies and germs... if you are hit by a car whether it has a cow-catcher or pop up hood, you are going to be seriously injured.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can just see some poor slob leaning over the fender to change the air filter when his "hey, watch this" buddy kicks the car nose - explosive charge rearranges internal organs accordingly!
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