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.
Anyone who pedals a bicycle knows that one of the biggest dangers to riders is a motorized vehicle – Volvo estimates that nearly 50 percent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. In the United States alone, 618 riders lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes in 2010, and the number of injuries surpassed 52,000.
Volvo's new Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is under scrutiny after a series of demonstrations for journalists in Australia went awry in rather spectacular fashion. During the presentation, an inflatable test dummy was run down after the system failed to detect its presence in time to stop -- and this was under controlled conditions. The optional hardware, which debuts on the 2011 S60 and V60 wagon, uses both radar and camera technology to avoid or mitigate an accident with a pedestria