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Top 5 en Español: Top 5: New car safety innovations
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Top 5 en Español: Top 5: New car safety innovations

3:06 /

CNET's Brian Cooley tells you about five personal safety innovations that car suppliers are developing for your next car.

[MUSIC] Now a lot of the innovation in cars is done not by the car companies you know but by their suppliers. Companies that used to supply them things like nuts and bolts and tires, today supply them entire transmissions, electronics and whole interior. I'm Brian Cooley with the top five of the best personal safety innovations from the Pace Awards. These are given to the suppliers by Automotive News and Ernst and Young. These are some of the unsung names in the car tech biz. Here we go. Number five. Autoliv's pedestrian under-hood airbag. Just when you thought they'd put an airbag everywhere inside the car, Sweden's Autoliv puts one outside the car. Because statistics show that a lot of pedestrian injuries and deaths happen when you're hit by a car. And you're head wings down and finds that rigid area at the base of the windshield. This puts an airbag right there to cushion you. Number four. Continental's Pedestrian impact sensor. Now, to detect that pedestrian impact, a rubber tube is laid along the inside of that flexible front bumper. During an impact with a pedestrian, the tube is collapsed a little, and that generates a puff of air. Which is read by a couple of simple sensors on each end of the bumper. And in 1 100th of a second they can figure out if it's a pedestrian versus a parking lot sign and fire the airbags. Number 3. Valeo's camera and sensor module. It used to be that the ultrasonic sensors in your bumper, those things that beep. And the camera in the back of the body which shows you what's back there. Operated completely without any knowledge of each other. That left the driver having to blend all that info. But France's Valeo has merged them into a single module. So it all works together. And, it's a tiny component. It has the added benefit of leaving your bumper without those little sonar dimples. Number two. Takata's center front airbag. Okay, just when you thought they had really put an airbag everywhere, including under the hood. Takata worked with GM to slide one in between the front seats. This helps to secure the driver during a far side of the car T-bone impact or to keep the front passengers from smashing heads and hurting each other. But with this and up to eight more airbags in the front of the car alone it's time for our number one. Number one is Autoliv's green airbag inflator. Now when all these airbags go off they are typically powered by what is called a sodium azide inflator. It's basically a little rocket propellant in your face, and it's received some nasty headlines lately. The Swedes, being the greenies they are, took note. And Autoliv developed a bag inflator that uses mostly hydrogen and oxygen and leaves behind mostly water vapor. If you could get these, in a Nissan Leaf, that is charged off a windmill, that's pretty green. Now everything new in high tech cars and modern driving over at cnetoncars.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

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