Hino devises front bumper air bag for new truck

TOKYO, (Dec. 7, 2004) — Japanese truck maker Hino Motors says it has jointly developed with Seino Transportation Co. a small truck equipped with upgraded safety devices, including an air bag attached to the front bumper.

The 3-ton Hino Dutro truck has a sensor that reacts when a person bursts in front of the vehicle while in motion and inflates an air bag from within the bumper to prevent him from getting rolled under it, the company said.

Seino has started testing the new truck at three business outlets in the Kanto region around Tokyo and will continue the test for six more months. The trucking company plans to introduce 3,500 units of the Hino Dutro, half its fleet, within 10 years.

The truck, viewed by Today’s Trucking staff in Japan recently, also has safety guard rails that descend automatically just behind the cab during turns to prevent cyclists from getting caught underneath.

Hino intends to sell the truck to other users as well at a yet-to-be-decided price. No word if the truck would also be marketed in North America is the future.

— with files from Associated Press

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