Ever since airbags were been added to vehicles, they've continued to make their way around the inside of our vehicles. We now have curtain airbags, side airbags, knee airbags, seat belts airbags and even ones that deploy under us. Maybe all of us don't have them in our cars, but they're on the road. And Mercedes is working on a new way to use airbags that moves them away from a passive safety measure and makes it part of an active safety system.
Mercedes is experimenting with airbags that deploy from underneath the car that will help stop a vehicle before a crash. The airbags are part of the overall active safety system and deploy when sensors determine that at impact is inevitable. The bags have a friction coating that helps slow the car down and can double the stopping power of the vehicle. The bags also lift the vehicle up to eight centimeters, which counters the car's dipping motion during hard braking, improves bumper-to-bumper contact and helps prevent passengers from sliding under seat belts during a collision.
What gives this kind of airbag potential as a future technology is that it uses existing vehicle safety systems. Although Mercedes has been working on this technology for several years, it isn't available on any production models yet and may not be seen on the road for another few years.
With the current evolution of airbags and their pervasiveness within the automotive world, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine future cars using airbags to not only protect passengers, but to actually stop cars as well.
Go on to the next page to learn about the next future car technology.