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Merc’s Beltbag gets green light

2012-07-20 15:00

BETTER PROTECTION FOR THOSE IN THE REAR: Merc will target drivers in "new" (or developing) markets where, the automaker says, occupancy rates in the rear are up to 30% higher than in Europe.

Mercedes-Benz’s inflatable seatbelt strap, first seen on the ESF 2009 experimental safety vehicle concept, will go into production, the automaker announced.

The inflatable seatbelt strap, called Beltbag, will be made available in a “luxury-class model” Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.

FOR REAR PASSENGERS ONLY

In seatbelt strap is designed to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by reducing the strain placed on the ribcage.

Once the vehicle’s crash sensors detect an impact, the airbag control unit triggers the airbag deployment and the multilayered strap inflates to nearly three times the normal width to better distribute the forces acting on the passenger.

It is used in exactly the same way as a conventional seatbelt.

It is not planned to introduce the Beltbag for front occupants, as airbags are already included in the front, the automaker added.

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