Thursday, November 5, 2009
Automakers boast about the number of airbags found in their product to convince customers that their car is safe. It is very common to find cars equipped with at least 4 airbags & cars containing any less than that is frown upon. Very soon the number of airbags will be increase with Ford incorporating airbags into seat belts. The Seat belts have cylindrical air bag that stretches from the buckle to the shoulder and fits inside a pocket sewn into the belt. The car will send a signal to release the bag when it sense the need of it.
Srini Sundararajan is credited for heading the team of engineers in developing this technology. According to him wider belts and bags help distribute crash forces across the occupant's chest, so there's less chance of a serious injury. They also help support the occupant's head and neck. He further added that "The top two lifesaving devices today are the seat belt and the air bag. This combines them into one great feature,".
It is a known fact that front air bags are powered by a pyrotechnic device that generates hot gas. They also deploy very quickly because they need to cover a greater distance before they reach the driver or passenger. This may cause severe burns to exposed body parts that come into contact of the bag. Seat belt airbags need not cover such great distance hence they can deploy more gently, although Srini said they're still fully deployed in a tenth of a second. They also use cold gas technology. Testing was also undertaken to ensure that children would be protected eventhough they are sleeping with their heads drooping. The belt also works with booster seats.
Finally Ford mention that the new technology will debut in the Ford Explorer soon.
Source: Detroit News