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Airbags

ABS avalanche airbags now offer wireless remote activation

Avalanche airbags, designed to prevent burial in an avalanche by providing extra buoyancy, aren’t new but until now skiers have had to activate the bag themselves. If they don’t realise in time they have set of an avalanche it may be too late for the airbag to be of use, resulting in burial and often, death. ABS has introduced a world-first - a remote, networked electronic system which allows airbag inflation to be triggered by other members of a skiing party, allowing them to help each other in an emergency. The new wireless system can be retrofitted to old-style backpacks with double airbags.  Read More

A sort of 'honeycomb airbag' created to cushion future astronauts may end up in helicopter...

According to NASA, the way to make a helicopter safer is to crash it – under strict guidance, of course. In order to test the effectiveness of a new "airbag" system - which is actually an expandable honeycomb cushion called a deployable energy absorber - NASA aeronautics researchers at Langley loaded four crash test dummies into a small chopper and, well, dropped it.  Read More

Ford's new inflatable seatbelts, which are designed to provide additional protection for r...

Most seat belts are designed to stretch during a crash to reduce the force of impact on the wearer while still preventing contact with the interior of the vehicle. Ford has gone one step further with plans to introduce inflatable seat belts designed to reduce the pressure on the chest and help control head and neck motion in rear seat passengers, spreading the crash force across five times more of the occupant’s torso than conventional seat belts.  Read More

The Mercedes-Benz ESF2009

When Mercedes-Benz produced its last safety demonstrator car back in 1974, it showcased exotic new technology like airbags, head restraints and seatbelt tensioners - things which have become almost ubiquitous on new cars 30 years down the track. So it's worth taking a good look at some of the wild and crazy innovations on Benz's ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle if you want to see where Mercedes thinks road safety is going in the next few decades. How about high-beam multi-zone headlights that intelligently dip only the LEDs shining directly at oncoming cars? Or inflatable metal structures that pop up for extra strength in a crash? What about a huge inflatable braking airbag that pops out under the car to provide a massive high-traction contact patch and doubles your braking power in an imminent crash? Amazing stuff, and there's more.  Read More

This diagram shows positioning of side and curtain shield airbags, soon to be standard fit...

July 24, 2007 If you don’t die as a result of age or illness, today’s sad reality is that you’re most likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident. Car manufacturers have been working hard to reduce trauma from accidents, building in crumple zones, safety cells and driver/passenger airbags to maximise protection for the precious living cargo they carry, and these measures have been effective in reducing deaths and serious injuries in front and rear collisions. Recent figures, however, show that nearly three quarters of serious side collisions still result in head and upper body injuries – and it’s these injuries that Toyota’s latest initiative aims to combat. By fitting side-impact airbags and curtain shield airbags to all Japanese passenger cars as standard, Toyota believes it can reduce deaths from side impacts by as much as 37% - a huge step towards making the road a safer place to be.  Read More

Honda to unveil key motorcycle safety initiatives: rider trainer and airbags

October 15, 2005 One of the sad facts about riding a motorcyle is that although it can accelerate quicker and stop faster than an automobile, the lack of a steel cage surrounding the occupants makes a motorcycle much more dangerous – you’re around seven times more likely to die on a motorcycle than a car for an equivalent distance traveled on public roads. So it’s not surprising that the World’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Honda, is devoting a considerable share of its massive R&D budget to making motorcycles safer. Next week the company will make two significant technology announcements that will save countless lives in coming years – the world’s first motorcycle airbag, and (much) more importantly, the availability of affordable advanced rider simulation machines for every Honda dealership. Rider training is the key to survivability on a motorcycle and Honda’s groundbreaking development of an affordable rider training simulator is to be loudly applauded. In many countries the simulators will become available in every Honda dealership within 12 months, giving it a massive advantage over its competitors in attracting a greater share of new motorcycle riders.  Read More

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