Volvo Car Corporation for partnership with Autoliv Inc.

“Green” Airbag Inflator

Volvo has striven to makes its vehicles among the safest on the road today for driver and passenger alike. Yet worldwide, 250,000 non-occupants die each year when vehicles hit pedestrians, bicyclists and others outside the car. Safety for non-passengers has, therefore, become a growing concern and new NCAP crash test standards in Europe include pedestrian protection measures.

To make the new Volvo V-40 safer for pedestrians, Volvo partnered with Autoliv. Working with industry data on pedestrian injuries and fatalities, Autoliv first had to develop a scientific understanding of how pedestrians are injured, analyzing data on fatalities and injuries in cooperation with a local university. The conclusion: the most damaging contact between vehicle and pedestrian is when the pedestrian's head strikes the rearmost edge of the hood in front of the windshield, or when the head hits the "A Pillars" on the sides of the windshield. Autoliv's solution: deploy an exterior airbag covering these areas, a challenging first for the industry. Soon Volvo began exhaustive testing at its crash test laboratories. The final result was success: The V-40, with the first exterior pedestrian protection airbag, received the highest possible rating on the NCAP crash test. Congratulations to Volvo for its leading this collaborative effort, to Autoliv for its revolutionary design, and to both for their making the world a safer place for the people who share the roadways with cars.