Honda has announced that it is working on a new passenger airbag technology designed to better protect occupants in the event of a frontal collision, which is particularly beneficial in the event of an angled crash between vehicles, or a vehicle and another object. Development and testing was led by Honda R&D Americas engineers in Ohio, in partnership with Autoliv.
The new airbag is scheduled to end up in new Honda products for the U.S. come next year.
“This new airbag technology represents Honda’s continuing effort to advance safety performance in a wider variety of crash scenarios and reflects the innovative thinking that our engineers are bringing to the challenge of reducing traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Honda R&D Americas president, Jim Keller.
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“Guided by Honda’s 'Safety for Everyone’ commitment, our engineers recognize that their work on this type of breakthrough safety technology will have far-reaching effects on peoples’ lives for many years to come.”
By offering better protection in the event of an angled frontal impact, the new airbag can help minimize lateral forces applied to the occupant’s head, decreasing the chance of serious injury that can occur if the head rotates severely or slides off the airbag).
Unlike conventional airbags, which feature a single inflatable compartment, this new system uses four major components: three inflated compartments (a center chamber and two side ones) and a so-called “sail panel” that stretches between the two side chambers that works not unlike a baseball catcher’s mitt, catching and decelerating the occupant’s head while pulling the side chambers inward to cradle the head.