Ford has developed a new airbag system that is sad to be offer better crash protection. The enhanced system will debut with the all-new Ford Focus before being offered with other vehicles in Ford’s line-up.
First up is a steering wheel airbag with a tether system. Basically the lower part of the airbag will be pulled back to give more space between the driver and the airbag in the abdominal area. Ford says that this will soften the blow of the airbag to the driver’s chest and ribs which in return helps reduce the chances of bodily injuries.
The engineers at Ford have also worked on enhancing the side airbags. They are fitted with shoulder vents that remain open during inflation. The vents will help deliver varying levels of pressure based on the size of the occupant and how much of their shoulder blocks the vent. Taller occupants will block these vents with their shoulders and they should benefit from the higher pressures.
The passenger airbag have been modified as well. It uses adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the airbag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. There is a pyrotechnic device to force open the vent and it can provide less pressure in the airbag while being sufficient enough to help protect the occupant. Basically its about varying the pressure in the airbag depending on the occupant’s size.
There is a restraints control module which adjusts the level of venting based on seat position. With this, the occupant will have better head and neck protection. Ford has also released a video explaining about the new driver’s airbag. You can watch it after the jump.