From airbags and seatbelts to anti-lock brakes, modern cars come equipped with a wide array of safety features that are designed to keep the driver and the passengers safe in a crash. But the latest technology will help to protect pedestrians from harm too.
According to , Ford is manufacturing a technology to reduce and even prevent injuries suffered by pedestrians if they are hit by a car. The Pedestrian system is using cameras and sensors to detect if the vehicle is about to collide with someone on foot and deploys a series of airbags to help keep them safe.
Ford’s plan is to incorporate an inflatable bumper that bursts to cushion the impact of the vehicle against the pedestrian’s legs and airbags that pop out from the bonnet.
They have also developed a pop-up mechanism that lifts up the car bonnet on springs to help absorb the force as pedestrians are thrown onto it in a collision. On top of that, they also developed an extendable hood that springs out to cover the bottom of the windscreen to protect a pedestrian’s head if they are flung over the bonnet.
With its radar and camera mounted in the bumper, the pedestrian detection system will spot people walking on the road and automatically brake. On top of that, they will calculate the risk of a collision, which allows the pedestrian protection system to be deployed moments before an impact. All these technologies were revealed when Ford’s engineers filed for patents at its headquarters in Detroit.
As reported by , in Europe’s largest cities nearly half of the fatalities that occurred were from a vehicle striking a pedestrian. European Commission for Mobility and Transport reports that pedestrian and cyclist traffic makes up between 20% and 40% of all travel in heavily populated areas. In the United States, that number jumped to 75%.
According to Ford, pedestrians are a legitimate hazard for drivers (and vice versa) that has been relatively overlooked. Their goal was to create a technology that is going to save both drivers and pedestrian lives
This technology will be available in Europe in Ford’s seventh generation Fiesta, while North America will see it into the 2018 Ford F150 and Mustangs.