Pedestrians chances of surviving a road accident should improve following the introduction of a new safety system.
Electronic Pedestrian Protection (EPP) has been developed by the automotive technology company, Bosch.
It uses a series of acceleration sensors fitted to the front of the vehicle to detect impacts with a pedestrian or cyclist. The cars bonnet is then raised in a fraction of a second to provide a better deformation zone and reduce the risk of injury.
EPP isnt yet fitted to any cars on sale in the UK, but will appear on production models in due course.
The head of the occupant safety business unit at Bosch, Bernd Hergert, said: 'The development of a system that is able to reliably detect, analyse and identify the impact of a human body and then activate the protective devices is a significant achievement.'
In the UK, there were 675 pedestrian deaths in 2006, a 1% increase on the previous year, according to Department for Transport figures.