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.
According to Honda, “The next-generation camera technology helps the car retain a modern, clean and simple design, and complements the stepless A-pillars and flush ‘pop out’ door handles, also confirmed for the production version of the Honda e. Unlike conventional side mirrors, the cameras are contained within the width of the car and do not extend beyond the wheel arches.”
The company also claims that with the removal of the side mirrors, which can stick out a bit, it can help to reduce the drag of the car, which in theory should reduce the amount of energy required to move forwards, thus potentially extending the range of the car as a result. The cameras will transmit information to screens placed on the dashboard inside of the car.
Honda has just come out with new images of the E Prototype, which will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show. It looks extremely production ready, and it's likely to be one of the few concept cars that effectively show the final product as it stands. For a very close look on the e Prototype, watch this video by the "Fully Charged Show" with Jonny Smith.
I'll admit to being played by Honda: As the carmaker originally showed the Urban EV concept at Geneva and spy photos started popping up later, showing a more down-to-earth car with thicker pillars and more doors, I thought the inevitable had happened and Honda had ended up watering down the fascinating concept. But as is explained in this video, it's actually the other way around: The prototype seen here has always been the real thing, and it's been in development far longer. The Urban EV was in actuality a caricature of this, with some more show-y details added.