ZF is working on external airbagsFebruary 27, 2019
A German automotive component supplier has developed airbags that inflate outside the car. At the same time, as noted by ZF, they are almost ready to launch on sale.
Work on new airbags took about 10 years. The company first introduced them last year at the Airbag 2018 exhibition in Mannheim (Germany). Innovative safety features have been developed for use in autonomous vehicles, where the cabin configuration can change.
Airbags are hidden in the side sills of the car and pass the entire length of the door. Sensors from outside the car constantly monitor the situation. If the system detects an accident threat, the airbags will trigger in less than 100 milliseconds.
External airbags will help instantly distribute the impact energy along the side of the car. Tests conducted by ZF, showed that they reduce the risk of penetration of body elements into the cabin by 30%, and the level of injuries – by 20-30%.
Airbags will be used in conjunction with a set of lidars, cameras and radars that determine the distance to objects and the threat of a collision. Sensors also transmit information for the autonomous system, out-of-band warning functions, and other active safety systems.
ZF director for safe mobility systems Uwe Klass expects the first cars with external airbags to appear on the roads over the next two years.
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