Pedestrian protection systems |
maandag 30 april 2018
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Pedestrian protection systems

Points of attention for rescue workers

In this month’s edition, we pay attention to the pedestrian airbag. The airbag limits the force with which the car impacts the pedestrian in certain frontal collisions. But how does it work and what are the key points for the first responders? We are also pleased to be able to report that cooperation with bus manufacturer van Hool from Belgium has enabled us to add alternative powered buses by this manufacturer to the Crash Recovery System. Did you know that the Citroën DS has been included as a separate brand under the name DS Automobiles in the Crash Recovery System?

More on these topics in our newsletter this month!


During the eRic fair last month in the Netherlands, we had two new Opel vehicles at our disposal. With these new vehicles, an Astra and an Insignia, we practised new cutting techniques with various first responders and the aid of the Crash Recovery System during the fair. The Opel Insignia has a pedestrian airbag which is under the bonnet.

Indication of the pedestrian protection system in the Crash Recovery System



We know of various pedestrian protection systems within the automotive industry. Opel uses two pyrotechnic compression springs. On activating those, the bonnet will be raised ± 130 mm. As a result of this, there will be sufficient space between the bonnet and the engine to compensate for the pedestrian’s fall. In collaboration with Opel, we deliberately activated this system and recorded a video of the process. 

Important information is displayed for the first responder by clicking on the pedestrian airbag icon!

Image of the pyrotechnic compression springs as they are installed under the bonnet.

CAUTION: After activating this system, it is possible to press the bonnet back, as shown in the video. This is not always possible with all car makes!

The other type of pedestrian protection system uses an airbag. This airbag is situated under the bonnet and when activated will raise the bonnet. This type can be found in a Volvo V40.


The airbag raises the bonnet ± 130 mm and catches the victim at the level of the window and the A-pillars. 

IMPORTANT: Both systems will only be activated between the speeds of 25 km/h and 45 km/h. Especially with collisions above 45 km/h, the system can be damaged and can be activated by incorrect action on the part of the first responder, with all the possible negative consequences this entails. What you will see clearly in the video is the force with which this happens. It is easy to imagine what happens to things placed on the bonnet during a deployment, after which the system is accidentally activated. This risk also exists with a vehicle fire. The pyrotechnic charge can explode due to heat!



A huge step has been taken this year in the cooperation between Moditech Rescue Solutions BV and Van Hool, the Belgian bus manufacturer.

The Van Hool Company builds ± 1,400 buses en touring cars annually and approximately 4,000 industrial vehicles, 80% of which are exported worldwide. With more than 4,000 employees and an extensive range of touring cars and buses, Van Hool is an important manufacturer in Europe.

Thanks to the cooperation with Van Hool, the A330 FC city bus with hydrogen drive, which is deployed by RET in Rotterdam, will be added as a first to the Crash Recovery System database. Our technical department has mapped the various components of the A330 FC and has already drawn the CRS image. At the moment, the design is ready for inspection at Van Hool. After approval, the A330 FC will be added to the database and in consultation, we will add several hydrogen- and electric-powered buses made by Van Hool to the Crash Recovery System.

Van Hool city bus with hydrogen drive, Rotterdam Netherlands


PSA Groupe, PSA for short, is a French automotive group comprising the automobile brands Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Vauxhall and DS Automobiles. DS Automobiles is the premium brand of Groupe PSA. The DS brand was first announced in early 2009 by Citroën as a premium brand. Since 2015 the DS series has been removed from the Citroën brand and DS has continued as an independent brand: DS Automobiles. The development and the brand DS Automobiles is, and will remain, part of the PSA Group. The new DS7 is the first model to be entirely developed and introduced as a DS Automobiles model.

CAUTION: The DS models are still listed under Citroën in the database. We will transfer the DS models from 2015 on to the 'DS Automobiles' brand at the next upgrade because, from that moment on, it will be an independent brand!


IMPORTANT: When the number plate cannot be checked, the database must be consulted. From the next database update, the DS models will be listed under DS Automobiles. The DS7 Crossback has already been added. All other models will follow in the upcoming updates.