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Airbags

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.  Read More

Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct im...

Regular Gizmag readers may recall the Hövding airbag collar we covered back in October 2010. Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding beats the competition hands down.  Read More

The Volvo V40's pedestrian airbags are designed to mitigate a collision with a pedestrian

Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Volvo V40 possesses some high-tech features, including the world's first pedestrian airbag system. The five-door, five-seater sibling to the Volvo C30 features (as standard) front bumper sensors that register the physical contact between the car and a pedestrian. When impact occurs, a section of the bonnet (closest to the windscreen) is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet, around one-third of the windscreen as well as the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help to reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.  Read More

A new airbag concept for motorcyclists called the Safety Sphere takes what can only be des...

Airbags for motorcyclists, whether built into the vehicle (a la Honda) or the rider's apparel (like the D-Air, Spidi and Hit-Air), are not a new idea. But Canadian inventor Rejean Neron's Safety Sphere concept has to be the most, well, all-encompassing of those we've seen. Described as an "inflatable crash garment for non-enclosed vehicle riders", Safety Sphere isn't so much built into the rider's suit as it is the rider's suit. In the event of an accident, the intended results are nothing if not dramatic, as the CG video promo ably illustrates.  Read More

The front center airbag is designed to protect drivers and front passengers in the event o...

With frontal, roof-mounted and rear-window airbags you'd be forgiven for thinking that there couldn't possibly be anywhere else in a car automobile manufacturers could cram one. But you'd be wrong. General Motors (GM) has just announced it will introduce the industry's first front center airbag in selected vehicles in 2013. The latest airbag addition is designed to protect drivers and front passengers in the event of side impact crashes.  Read More

TRW's bag in roof airbag system

Since Mercedes-Benz introduced the frontal airbag as an option on its S-Class vehicles back in 1981, airbags have become standard safety equipment in passenger vehicles the world over. In addition to frontal driver- and passenger-side airbags, there are now also side curtain, side torso, knee, rear curtain and even seat-belt airbags. With the aim of freeing up space in increasingly crowded instrument clusters, automotive safety systems manufacturer TRW has now developed a "bag in roof" airbag system that deploys the front airbag from the roof instead of the steering wheel or dashboard.  Read More

The Hovding airbag collar before and after inflation

Airbags have been cushioning drivers in accidents since the 1980’s and are now standard equipment on most new cars sold around the world. With cyclists and motorcyclists being much more vulnerable on the road than their car-enclosed cousins there have been a number of devices designed to bring the protection of an airbag to vehicles of the two-wheeled variety, including the Hit-Air jacket and Honda’s motorcycle airbag. The latest is an airbag collar aimed at cyclists called the Hövding that is worn around the neck and inflates to enclose the rider's head in the event of an accident.  Read More

Sydney Do (right panel, at right) works on his prototype astronaut air bag system

Should the astronauts living on the International Space Station ever need to evacuate, the plan is that they will be able to board the station’s resident escape spacecraft, which will then take them back to Earth. That escape craft, called Orion, is currently under construction. Like the Apollo spacecraft that it resembles, Orion is intended to land at sea. If it should happen to come down on the land, however... well, those astronauts could be in for a rough landing. With that in mind, a graduate student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is developing an air bag system to cushion Orion’s occupants in the event of a dry landing. The system, interestingly enough, was inspired by the structure of seeds.  Read More

Mean machine ... the Izh 2012 concept motorbike, light on materials, heavy on safety

The makers of what has been described as the “world’s greatest weapon”, the Russian Kalashnikov machine gun, were also pretty handy at constructing motorbikes, selling around 11 million of them since their formation in 1927. For many years, this Soviet motorbike factory ran second only to Japan in production numbers. One of its most popular bikes was the 1929 Izh-1, and this is a 2012 take on the motorcycle by designer Igor Chak. The concept design comes with more safety features than 10 Volvos combined and is aimed at making riding on the highways and byways safer than walking.  Read More

The amfibus in action on the River Clyde

Great Britain's first amphibious bus service has hit a slight snag in testing - a component failure halting the Stagecoach Amphibious Bus in its third crossing of the river Clyde between Renfrew and Yoker in Scotland. Proposed as a replacement for a ferry service that's set to close down next month, the "amfibus" is designed to deliver a 'seamless' trip across the Clyde with minimal transition time between its regular coach mode and jet-powered water crossing mode.  Read More

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