Pedestrian air bag car launched.

Lane detection, blind-spot sensors, pedestrian detection system... Volvo has long been synonymous with protecting humans in cars.

Now the Swedish automaker has decided that it's not enough to just protect drivers; those in the roads and streets around them now also have a cushion that could save life.

Volvo's pedestrian air bag, launched with the V40 at the 2012 Geneva auto show, will deploy if a pedestrian hits the bonnet. It works with Volvo's pedestrian detection system but the overall goal is crash avoidance and mitigation.

When sensors in the front bumper detect imminent contact with a pedestrian a section of the bonnet will rise and a U-shaped airbag will deploy across the car's windscreen. The bag covers about a third of the glass and the bottom of the car’s A pillars to cushion the impact for anybody unlucky enough to be hit.

The V40 also features pedestrian detection and the city safety technology, which automatically stops the vehicle from rear-ending another car at low speed.

Other safety highlights of the V40, borrowed from the XC60, include lane maintenance, automatic road sign detection, active head light technology and parking radar.

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