Ford will be introducing the world’s first inflatable seat belts on the next-generation Ford Explorer, which goes into production next year for the North American market.
World's first inflatable seatbelt
The belt combines traditional seatbelt and airbag technologies for an added level of crash safety protection to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers.
Vehicle safety sensors determine the severity of the collision and the inflatable seatbelt deploys over the occupant's torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
In a frontal or side crash, the inflatable belt’s increased diameter more effectively holds the occupant in the appropriate seating position. This further helps to reduce the risk of injury.
“Ford is pioneering inflatable seat belt technology to help enhance crash safety protection, while encouraging more people to buckle up with a more comfortable belt,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president for engineering and global product development.
In Ford’s research, more than 90% of those who tested the inflatable seat belts found them more comfortable than a conventional belt because they feel padded and softer.
Ford plans to offer the technology in vehicles globally over time.