Autoliv Inc. has proposed a safety system for cars that would help protect the pedestrians they hit, but an analyst says it's not likely to add to Autoliv's bottom line soon.

European lawmakers have proposed rules to protect pedestrians, and the Autoliv system would meet the criteria for head injuries, the company says. When a pedestrian is struck, Autoliv's sensors in the bumper trigger two gas-filled bellows that lift the car's hood 4 ins. (10 cm). The hood then becomes a shock absorber for the pedestrian's head.

However, the system faces an uphill battle, as people aren't as willing to pay to protect others, says an analyst.

An Autoliv spokesman says if there is a new proposal, it will be a market of 15 million vehicles a year.

About 7,000 European pedestrians die annually when struck by cars.

The proposal sets criteria for head impact forces at five locations on the car hood and for forces on the leg. The committee pushing the project would like it to become effective in 2005 or 2006.