Auto Service World
News   June 26, 2007   by Auto Service World

New Impact Airbag From Autoliv

At the international scientific conference Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Autoliv Inc. introduced two new airbags that could save thousands of lives every year and prevent ten times as many severe injuries.
The bumper airbag for SUVs addresses the compatibility problem associated with them and other high-hooded vehicles colliding with passenger cars and other low-profile vehicles. The front edge airbag will save the lives of pedestrians when struck by an SUV.
In Europe alone, more than 10,000 pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are killed every year when struck by a motor vehicle.
The EU has therefore introduced regulations on pedestrian protection and proposed even stricter rules by 2012.
In response, Autoliv introduced a “pop-up hood” at the 2001 ESV conference that protects the heads of pedestrians by using airbag technologies to enable the hood to flex.
Autoliv has had this system in serial production for more than a year.
However, SUVs are of particular concern for pedestrians due to their higher and more box-shaped fronts.
The fatality risk for pedestrians is 2.5 times higher in SUV impacts than it is for regular cars.
Another difference is the impact area.
While most pedestrians killed by passenger cars perish when they hit their heads on the hood or windshield area of the car, the majority of severe injuries to pedestrians caused by SUVs occur when the front hood edge hits the pedestrian’s chest and abdomen.
Autoliv has therefore developed an airbag to address this problem.
Triggered by a pre-crash sensor (such as radar), the airbag deploys a few milliseconds before a pedestrian impact.
The system has been tested in both computer simulations and in real crash tests, involving crash dummies representing an average male and a very short female.
In the simulations, airbag demonstrated its ability to pass the tough requirements of EuroNCAP, the European crash test organization that rates new light vehicle models.
In the full-scale tests, the airbag decreased all critical injury values considerably.
The largest reduction was for the abdomen of the male dummy.
Here the injury risk was reduced from 99% to just 3% when using the system.
The test velocity was 40 km/h (25 mph), which is the average impact speed in fatal pedestrian accidents.
ESV Conference organized every second year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States. NHTSA is also responsible for ESV’s scientific secretariat.
Autoliv Inc. develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for major automotive manufacturers.
Together with its joint ventures, Autoliv has 80 facilities with approximately 42,000 employees in 28 vehicle-producing countries.

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