• May 1, 2009
These days, it's nearly impossible to find a new automobile that doesn't come equipped with a barrage of airbags to keep the driver and passengers safe in the event of an crash. That's all well and good, but what about the pedestrians that happen to be in the vehicle's line of fire?

A team in the U.K., led by Roger Hardy of Cranfield University, has developed a new hood-mounted airbag system that would theoretically improve the safety of pedestrians that come face-to-face with the windshield of your car. When not in use, the U-shaped airbag hides away underneath the car's hood at the base of the windshield and doesn't restrict the driver's view.

Just prior to impact, the airbag would deploy to protect the unfortunate pedestrian from making contact with the car's windshield or A-pillars. At the same time, the car's hood would rise to provide added crumple room over the engine compartment. The team believes its system could be put into production within five years without a substantial increase in cost while cutting pedestrian injuries in half.

[Source: Telegraph]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe it's just me, but it looks like it will impair driver view a bit..causing the driver to swerve and hit more people?

      Can't we all just do the logical thing and PAY ATTENTION (both drivers and peds)....it's free.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is 2009. Paying attention is now deprecated.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Smart move, this will reduce fatalities= less lawsuits, smaller insurance premiums.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Let's see if the comment posts this time...(if it does, I had to post it here because it wouldn't post on the Pontiac one)

        Well obviously I didn't read it like that so sorry for the misunderstanding. While I kinda have to stand by some of what I said (seeing as how your comments that I remember seeing are marked pretty low) I'm sorry for calling you out on it. Not that an apology is gonna make a difference now, but I don't typically call people out like that unless I'm in a sh!tty mood (which I was).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Didn't they say the same thing about Anti-Lock brakes?

        • 5 Years Ago
        pedestrian air bag? no thanks. reduce fatalities? sure, but it means that bastardly, now crippled, person is alive and will sue the pants off of you. im going to lose my license anyways and probably face jail time. why have a law suit you have to deal with as well???
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you're stupid enough to walk in front of my car, not only should I be allowed to hit you, I should be allowed to sue your estate for the cost of repairs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wako, well if the person dies you will go to jail for 10+ years, if he lives you will go for a few months and your insurance company will eat the bill.
        • 5 Years Ago
        smaller premiums? really? i'll wait on the technical papers but something tells me this would increase the cost of body repair given the obvious results of propelling various bits of the car upwards. This just in, small fender benders now to cause much more damage, at 11.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about we just have jay walkers wear portable airbags instead of making everyone else pay for their stupidity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, because every pedestrian getting hit by a car is a result of jaywalking... Right. No car EVER swerves onto a sidewalk for whatever reason, or hit a bike while the driver is busy looking the other way...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jaguar (Ford at the time) shipped something similar in 2007.

      http://www.popsci.com/12-gauge-shotguns/article/2006-03/hood-explodes-safety

      I dream of the end of the hare-brained European pedestrian impact standards.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Somehow I read that last sentence as, "...without a substantial increase in cost while cutting pedestrians in half."
      • 5 Years Ago
      That wouldn't work in places where it snows!
      Ice forms at the bottom of the windscreen and the top of the bonnet; that would prevent the air bag from deploying rapidly as it would need to.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time to give up and just make the whole car out of airbags
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, whatever works for them, I guess. As a pedestrian myself, I generally prefer to use my eyes to look both ways while crossing the street.

      But hey, I can understand some people are just too lazy. I've seen plenty of them on campus... just walking straight out into the street, not even using a crosswalk.

      Next time I encounter a rail crossing with flashing lights and the gate down, I'll just be sure to expect the train to stop and protect me in the ensuing collision, rather than just stopping - because I mean, that would just be far too logical. And we all know if there's one thing that there's too much of - its logic!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You do realize that many a time driver is too busy yaping on the phone or what have you. This will shock you, pub pedestrians are not always guilty.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bloke. Paul's comments aren't ridiculous. The scenario you are talking about is very low speed Urban traffic. As much as that might cause some broken bones it won't kill anyone (more run over toes than anything). Run a red light....well that's the drivers fault and no air bag is going to save anyone. Step out onto the curb when the lights green and well.....your the idiot.

        People just need to pay attention more; drivers and pedestrians. 2009 is the age of multi-tasking wanderers

        Oh and if i get into a "normal" accident does this air bag go off too. so i have to pay for it? dumb
        • 5 Years Ago
        Artso06 - evidently you're not familiar with European urban environments, where blind corners, extensive parallel parking, traffic congestion, and even traffic calming measures can cause issues such as this to take place. Furthermore, there's the issue of pedestrians who are either deaf or blind or have partial sight. Needless to say, there are also many disabled pedestrians who may not be able to simply "get out of the way" that quickly. It doesn't take much to kill someone, regardless of speed. If a pedestrian has a blow to the head, for example, even walking speeds can kill.

        I sometimes wonder just how much thought (and common sense) contributors to these boards actually have.

        Paul's comments are ridiculous.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "2009 is the age of multi-tasking wanderers"

        I could not have put it better myself artso.
        • 5 Years Ago
        People should be friggin' responsible for watching for cars when they cross the street.

        Down the street they just made it possible for you to cross diagonally (like in Beverly Hills). People usually cross whenever the traffic light turns green, not the pedestrian sign... I don't understand the logic, they just do. As if the "walk" and "don't walk" lights weren't enough, they added permanent signs that say "Do not cross until walk sign is displayed" (in case you were from another planet). But guess what? People still cross whenever they feel like it. It maybe time to just let the stupid people die off.

        On the other hand... At an intersection with 4 lanes each way and massive, loud traffic surrounding you, It can be hard for even the cautious pedestrian to notice that one dumbass texting driver that's about to run the red light.

        In a perfect world, people would pay attention to the task at hand. But until our cars are completely driven by AI, this kind of technology is, unfortunately, increasingly necessary.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It would appear you did not read my post. What did I say? I implied that it is ultimately the pedestrian's responsibility, did I not? If you see a car coming, regardless of why its coming - you have an opportunity to step out of the way, unless someone is trying to run you down on purpose.

        So get out of the way. Whether someone is yapping on the cell phone makes no difference. If you have eyes, use them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ RWD so texting is just a beginning, so make people drink, smoke pot, pop pills and drive simotaniously.

        What we need is LAWS, meaning, if a pedestrian attempts to cross a street when it is not his turn..fine him, if a drivers does something other than drives, take away the license.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin, no one person can move the comments completely by themselves. It takes multiple votes to move the comments visibly. As such, if you ever get downranked or upranked, it would be multiple people who voted to make it as such; not just one person.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "your the idiot." - Artso06

        Such inability to spell while making an argument is poetic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Paul34 - there are plenty of urban road conditions where you won't necessarily have time to move out of the way. If you've lived in any modern major city you'll know what I mean. Your comments are utterly thoughtless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin, that is absolutely correct!

        The thing is, hit and run's (some fatal ones I might add) happen all the time. In many instances, you could only fine/penalize someone after the damage is done. Laws should certainly be strict, even stricter than they are now, but they could never possibly keep these kinds of incidents from happening altogether.
        • 5 Years Ago
        who keeps downgrading me? Come out, come out whoever you are.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sooo... It's like a Citroën C6? Launched in 2006...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someone is going to sue (pick a company) b/c he/she got hit by a car and the car manufacturer didn't install it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sucks. Typical Hanoverian excess exacerbated by a socialist Parliament.
      The Tudors would never have stood for this.
      Up with Henry VIII!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Except that cars will cost 1000's more because of the safety features.
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