Mercedes-Benz to introduce inflatable Beltbag seat-belt
Mercedes-Benz is set to put its Beltbag inflatable seat-belt into production
We first saw Mercedes-Benz’s Beltbag in the company’s gadget-laden ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle. Now the German automaker has announced the inflatable seat-belt strap is set to go into production and debut in an as yet unnamed luxury-class model. Mercedes is following in the footsteps of Ford, which introduced the first production inflatable seat-belts in the 2011 Explorer and now includes the technology in a number of models.
Like Ford’s offering, the Beltbag is worn as a normal seat-belt, but is inflated by a gas generator when the vehicle’s crash sensors detect a severe frontal impact. The Velcro seams of the multi-layered belt strap then rip open as the belt expands to almost three times its normal width, providing a larger surface area over which the force impacting on the passenger’s ribcage can be better distributed.
Because crash test dummies aren’t built to measure the lower force exerted on an occupant due to a wider strap, Mercedes has again turned to virtual human models to examine the biomechanical strain resulting from a collision. The company also used virtual human models to develop the active seat-belt buckle that is also earmarked for inclusion in a luxury Mercedes model. Like that technology, the Beltbag will only be used on the rear seats, as front occupants are already protected by airbags.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
Works no better than the simple webbing style seatbelt, but needs a gas generator and sophisticated inflatable bag style belt that will cost at least 10 times more? Stop thinking!
Why not just pass a law to make everyone wear a motorcycle helmet while riding in a car?
stop wasting time and create cars that cannot collide! Oh wait they already are doing that. So why would we need seatbelts exactly?
my ribs were broken in an accident i otherwise was completely unharmed in. That came from the seatbelts. Sure, having a few cracked ribs was better than being ejected from the vehicle. But airbag burns and scrapes are better than the ones you get from a metal steering wheel too so... Keep adding airbags to things until we can fill our cars with foam like in Demolitian Man (i think, one of those awful stallone movies). The most shocking thing here is that Ford (or anyone for that matter) put something in a car BEFORE it was in a mercedes S class.
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