Ford has released a brand new design for airbags in the 2015 Mustang, raising the bar for safety and comfort for passengers by providing equally safe but smaller and lighter inflatable protection in the vehicle. This new design has drastically increased the amount of room in the car, providing the passenger with a more comfortable ride.
The new airbag, however, is not the only upgrade to next year’s Mustang. It is part of a new “standard comprehensive safety system” that includes more sensors, seat belt anchor pretensioners, and double the amount of airbags throughout the vehicle.
The new design for the airbag is similar to a conventional style of knee protection, but instead the airbag is integrated into the door of the glove box, not under the instrument panel. Considerations are being made to possibly allow these new airbags to be placed in different locations on the vehicle, which would give designers more freedom to create new and innovative ideas.
Ford restraints manager Sean West stated, “We provide a high level of safety, quality and design for our customers and their passengers. With this innovative airbag design, we have developed technology that provides protection for vehicle occupants while also reducing weight and enabling greater design flexibility.”
Engineers at Ford developed and tested new materials and construction tactics in order to make the new passenger knee back a possibility. The material of this new airbag is different than the conventional airbag, as it is composed of a “pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder” that is placed in between the inner and outer panels of the glove box door. When air bag sensors are activated from impact, the plastic bladder is filled with air and expanded towards the passenger’s legs. The outer door of the glove box is then used to provide padding to the knees, just like a traditional airbag.
Ford has been able to receive 15 new U.S. patents while developing the airbag design in the new Mustang, and even more patents have been filed.
Jeff Rupp, Mustang’s safety systems manager said, “The new Mustang has increased ability to adapt safety systems to a variety of potential situations. For example, we’ve added new anchor-side safety belt pretensioning capability and a steering column that can adapt stiffness properties.”
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