Every day scores of pedestrians are injured or killed when they tangle with a car, so a group of Japanese researchers had the wacky idea of putting airbags on the outside of a car to protect people on foot.



For some reason the system is called iSave, even though there doesn’t appear to be an Apple tie-in. Still, the iSave consists of special body panels covered with inflatable membranes that absorb the impact with a pedestrian, then deflate rapidly, just like a regular airbag, to soften the blow.

So far the researchers from several Hiroshima based companies and the local University have fitted the system to a small three-wheeled electric car, with plans to develop a commercial version for 4-wheeled cars next year.  Apparently it only works with electric vehicles.

While it looks kind of crazy at first glance, I think there’s a pretty good idea lurking in there somewhere. I’m just not sure if they need to fit out the entire car with the bags when most pedestrian impacts are to the front.

I wonder what this would do to a deer?

Via Dvice