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As proof of just how quickly automotive technology can advance, just check out the Volvo V40. Developed with an external airbag aimed at better protecting pedestrians in the event of a collision, this innovative safety device could be phased out soon in place of more advanced active safety technologies like pedestrian detection and auto braking.

Go Auto had a chance to talk to Volvo senior VP Lex Kerssmakers at the Tokyo Motor Show, and he suggested that the V40's under-hood airbag will not be used on the next-gen XC90 and might not even be continued on non-SUV models. The passive airbag was designed to deploy at speeds of less than 31 miles per hour to help limit head injuries to pedestrians, but new active technologies are designed to prevent collisions in the first place.

The interview also reveals some details about the new XC90, such as the inclusion of a plug-in hybrid system and the debut of a new safety technology. Kerssmakers told Go Auto that a new Volvo concept will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but it won't be for the XC90.


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