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GM Brings Active-Hood Technology to China with 2018 Buick Regal

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2018 Buick Regal TourX

The newly-launched Buick Regal is the first vehicle to offer drivers in China an active-hood pedestrian safety system, which helps lessen the likelihood of serious injury for pedestrians that might be struck by an oncoming vehicle.

General Motors introduced the technology in Europe about a decade ago, and it has since rolled out to vehicles sold through Korea and the United States—including the 2018 Buick Regal. With the World Health Organization estimating that about half of the 700 people killed in traffic accidents in China every day are pedestrians, the introduction of the technology in the country seems like a no-brainer.

“If you consider the European market alone—where GM first introduced this system in 2007—we have seen the number of fatalities drop by 50% in the last 10 years,” said Wahaj Hussain, lead Active Hood Systems engineer at GM. “By introducing this feature in China, we hope to eventually see similar results.”

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Part of Buick’s eProtect smart safety technology suite—also including pedestrian detection, collision mitigation braking, and adaptive cruise control—the active-hood system senses impact between speeds of 25-48 kph (15-30 mph) and utilizes a pyrotechnic actuator to lift the back end of the hood by 10 cm (four inches) in order to lessen impact.

The active-hood system was developed as part of a multi-automaker consortium known as the Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC), which rigorously tested the technology using a wide range of different body models.

“Working with human body models has been critical to the development of new safety systems like the active hood,” said GM researcher Mark Neal. “As we continue to work with the consortium to advance such innovations, we expect to further improve traffic safety for vehicle occupants and other road users alike.”

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