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Daimler Innovative Airbag for Rear Seats

Auto News - Published on Wed, 11 Sep 2019

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Airbag development at Mercedes-Benz already began in 1966. The first driver airbag to reach production maturity was introduced in the 126-series S-Class in 1980. And the idea of a protective air cushion as a passive safety feature has by no means exhausted its potential, as an innovative rear airbag in the ESF 2019 shows. With belt-feeders, belt buckle illumination, USB belt buckles and belt heating, the ESF 2019 implements a number of ideas by which passengers on the rear seats might be motivated to wear seat belts using new methods.

The rear airbag has a special filling concept to inflate and position the air cushion. To this end it has an innovative tubular structure. In the event of a crash, cylindrical sections are rapidly inflated with compressed gas and form a framework in a similar way to the new, inflatable tents where air hoses replace rods. But the really special feature of the airbags is the space between the bars of the framework. The side walls instantly capture the ambient air and retain it as the passenger’s body sinks into the airbag. This gives the passenger support, and the loads acting on the head and neck vertebrae during a severe frontal impact can be reduced by up to 30 percent.

Designing a rear airbag for a frontal collision requires a different concept from a conventional driver or front passenger airbag. This is because the spatial parameters are different, occupant behaviour varies widely and the airbag must be accommodated in the adjustable backrest of the front seat. In addition, children and adults sit very differently in the rear of a vehicle.

Particular attention was therefore given to gentle deployment of the airbag in case people or objects are in the deployment zone. The special design of this new airbag decisively contributes to compliance with the in-house requirements of Mercedes Benz, some of which were derived from tests on front passenger airbags. The inflating tubes give way when contacting obstructions, e.g. a child seat in the reboard position. The force is directed past the obstacle rather than against it.

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Wed, 11 Sep 2019
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