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Protection of Pedestrians


Already this year, (2005) the new directives for the protection of pedestrians will become effective. Because the protection of pedestrians is, as far as vehicle technology is concerned, partly still in the development stage, attention should be paid, first of all, to fenders and the front bonnet. Looking at the low placement of the bonnet, e.g., above the engine, one can anticipate that the safety measures demanded by the NCAP will also, in time, influence the design.

How it works

At a speed of 35 km/h, the vehicle collides with the pedestrian. In this case, the hips, legs and particularly the head, should suffer no excessive injuries. Nowadays, it no longer depends only on the speed of action, but also, the control device must be informed by the sensors, of the degree of distortion and given the data concerning the deforming object. The sensor has to distinguish between the impact with rigid- and flexible objects. Moreover, all possible areas of the vehicle-front must be scanned.

The actuators refer back to partly proven elements. Belonging to this, are the pyrotechnics, with which, e.g., both lifting mechanisms of the front bonnet are fired, in the space of milliseconds several centimetres upwards (figure 1). The angle of impact then becomes more favourable. In the future the bonnet will also be produced from different material. In this case e.g., aluminium foam (figure 2) is the first choice because it has the desired resilience in the event of an impact to the head. 06/05