05 Jun 2019

The airbag that can prevent a crash

External airbags are coming and have the potential to save live
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We have all seen the positive impacts airbags inside vehicles can have and how many lives they can save. Now, the future could see airbags deployed from the exterior of vehicles to minimise or even prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

Exterior airbags first appeared in 2012, when the Volvo’s V40 included a bonnet airbag that would give pedestrians a soft place to land if struck.

Mercedes-Benz is looking to expand this idea and create external airbags that could potentially halt a vehicle before it even struck a vehicle or another pedestrian.

Mercedes-Benz first floated the idea a decade ago and their parent company Daimler officially patented the concept in 2015, which was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2017.

The technology they are working on has airbags installed in the A-pillars of the vehicle, which would deploy while the hood raised when a collision occurs.

It is designed to minimise the impact and potentially save the lives of people in other vehicles or even pedestrians.

Mercedes-Benz has also been reportedly working on airbags that deploy between the front axle and underbody, effectively acting as an anchor for the vehicle.

Those behind the technology aims to halve the stopping distance using these airbags, which could turn a fatal collision into a minor fender bender - or prevent accidents entirely.

Both technologies are being worked on as part of Mercedes-Benz's PRE-SAFE systems, but there is no concrete word yet on when these technologies will be released.

Exterior airbags at the front of a vehicle could work wonders in a head-on collision, but what about an accident where a vehicle strikes the side of your car?

This technology is being considered as well, with German automotive parts manufacturer ZF working on an exterior air bag solution that would save lives in T-bone impacts.

The technology involves large airbags that would deploy from the side of a vehicle within milliseconds, which they hope will reduce the severity of a side-on crash by up to 40 per cent.

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