Volvo is to announce a new car at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March that will automatically detect someone running in front of it and hit the brakes so you don't hit them.

Volvo is calling the new tech, which will be introduced into the S60 model, Pedestrian Detection safety technology, and it is based around a radar system fitted in the front grille of the car and a camera behind the rear-view mirror inside.

According to the car maker, the radar’s task is to detect any object in front of the car and to determine the distance to it. The camera determines what type of object it is.

"The full auto brake part of the technology also responds to vehicles in front that are at a standstill or that are moving in the same direction as the car fitted with the system. The newly developed dual-mode radar’s much wider field of vision ensures that pedestrians about to step into the roadway can be detected early on", says Volvo.

The system can detect pedestrians who are 80cm tall, ie children, and taller.

As the video above explains, drivers will first receive an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. At the same time, the car’s brakes are pre-charged. If the driver fails to react the car takes over and applies the brakes automatically.

"Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 21mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car’s speed as much as possible prior to the impact", confirms Volvo.