Now Available - Airbags For Pedestrians And Cyclists!

By Meera Dolasia on January 31, 2013

CCSS NAS-6 NCSS-3 Word Search

Cycling or even walking in urban areas can be a little treacherous, thanks to the fact that one is sharing the road with vehicles that are increasingly getting larger and heavier. A 2009 study conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that of the 1.27 million people that perish in road traffic crashes each year, about half, are pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. Now there may be a solution that could provide at least some relief to protect this vulnerable group - An airbag!

Lest you are worried that this safety measure will involve you lugging around a heavy package or worse still, wrapping yourself inside an ugly plastic bag, be assured that the bag is fitted not on the human, but on the exterior of the vehicle. And, while there are several versions of the idea in the works, the one most recently unveiled by Dutch car company TNO, seems to be the most advanced and ready to go into production.

In the works since 2011, the airbag covers only the lower portion of the windshield. This according to the company will provide the much needed buffer between the person's head and the pane of glass he/she would otherwise encounter

The chain of events leading to an airbag trigger are quite simple - A camera fitted beneath the rear-view mirror monitors the vehicle's proximity to a pedestrian or cyclist. Any contact with either one of them sets off the sensors in the car's bumper and promptly inflates the airbag. In addition to that the sensors also trigger the car's automatic brake, mitigating the chances of an even worse injury.

In tests conducted using a dummy, the success of not getting injured after being hit by a car traveling at about 40km/h were about 50-50! While not perfect, it will still result in reducing the number of fatalities by a considerable amount.

While TNO is one of the pioneering companies to fully develop and bring to market this rather ingenious idea, they are not the first ones. That credit goes to Swedish car manufacturer, Volvo that has already introduced it in their 2012 V40 model. With TNO ready to license its technology to car manufacturers and many more companies trying to develop similar concepts, we would not be surprised if exterior airbags become a standard feature in every car pretty soon!

Resources: fastcoexist.com

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
323 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • Richthegreat0024/9/2014
    This is coolll
    • krisdakid1001
      so funny I wanna try it
      • jpalo
        jpalo2/6/2014
        its so funny
        • unkown name1/27/2014
          cool story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          • Lilriri12/19/2013
            this make absolutely no sense
            • mcgangbang 12/17/2013
              I want to use it :)
              • barkai12/16/2013
                amazing
                • keven12/16/2013
                  Super
                  • Boo12/10/2013
                    Really cool
                    • drakonis
                      drakonis11/18/2013
                      so cool

                      Vocabulary

                      bufferencounterexteriorfatalitiesingeniouslestmitigatingpedestriansperishpioneeringtechnologytreacheroustriggervulnerable

                      Most Popular Articles

                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Message In A Bottle Gets Delivered After 101 Years!
                      Ever Wonder Why Zebras Have Stripes?
                      Get Ready For The First Total Lunar Eclipse Of 2014
                      Surprise! Giant Pandas Love Sweets Too!
                      Is The Five-Second Rule Valid? Depends On Who You Ask!
                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Smile, It's The International Day Of Happiness!
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - World's Youngest Successful Singer!

                      Latest Comments

                      ian21tang
                      ian21tang wrote:

                      Let me throw a bottle with a not...
                      Message In A Bottle Gets Deliver...

                      Buzzypoo441 wrote:

                      Awesome! It's so sweet!
                      Max's Wheels

                      Buzzypoo441 wrote:

                      Adorable! I love pandas. It's un...
                      Surprise! Giant Pandas Love Swee...

                      ALA