Key Safety Systems (KSS), says it has launched its first hood lifting device as part of the Active Body Panels portfolio. 

Unit production and first customer shipments to an unnamed European OEM in support of New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) guidelines has started.

Effective in 2016, vehicles equipped with pedestrian protection technology are eligible to be awarded incremental points under the European NCAP rating system.  Other national NCAP agencies are studying pedestrian protection for inclusion in their future scoring protocol. 

The pyrotechnic actuator, based on technologies used in seatbelt mechanisms, extends with linear movement, lifting the rearward most edge of the bonnet at the base of the windscreen. 

The travel of the piston can offer significant displacement of the bonnet quickly, allowing the needed gap from the body panel surface of the hood to any engine hard points underneath before pedestrian head impact occurs. 

KSS says the resulting cushion of space leaves room for the body panel to deform, absorbing energy and aiming to mitigate injury.

"KSS is proud to expand our Active Safety product line with this reliable and value added device," said executive director engineering, Axel Wehrwein.

"The application of Active Body Panels as part of our Event Protection segment will become a more highly utilised approach as evidenced by recent awards to manage 'car to pedestrian' and 'car to car' impact forces, ultimately saving lives."