An interesting technique could protect pedestrians’ legs and prevent them from being run over, technical drawings suggest.
Cars versus pedestrians, a traditional type of accident that has accompanied motoring since its inception. There have been many changes in this field over the past century, vehicles are thoroughly tested on special dummies, have soft deformation zones in the hoods and some even have airbags for pedestrians. But these new methods of safety mostly concern classic passenger cars, a collision with a full-size American pick-up truck can be quite dangerous even today.
According to the patent application, Ford has now come up with an interesting innovation. These are inflatable elements that expand below and above the bumper in the event of an accident, if the car detects a collision in the classic way, i.e. through sensors through which the airbag is deployed, for example.
According to the application, the elements are intended to “dampen the relative movement between the femur and tibia,” thereby protecting pedestrians’ knees from breaking the leg. It can also be expected that they can reduce the chance of a pedestrian falling under a car and then being run over by it. The bags could be detonated with a pyrotechnic cartridge or inflated from a pressurized air reservoir. It is not yet clear when and if it will appear on production vehicles at all.