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Demonstration of the new seatbelt  (Source: Detroit Free Press)
First generation of Ford's inflatable seat belt could help save lives

U.S. automaker Ford announced it will introduce a new seatbelt airbag that will first find its way into automobiles starting with the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV.

The Ford system operates by placing a small cylinder of cold compressed gas that sits underneath the rear seats, with an inflatable bag located in the seatbelts.  After a vehicle impact occurs, this new system is designed to spread the force of impact over more parts of the human body, which helps reduce the amount of impact felt by the human chest.

Although airbags are now common safety devices in all modern vehicles, Ford is poised to become the first automaker to introduce the inflatable rear seatbelts -- they'll launch next fall, when the 2011 Explorer is made available.

"It's hard to know for sure ahead of time, but this airbag has tremendous benefit by increasing the surface area (of the seat belt), and that allows them to restrain the torso better on a frail body," University of Michigan trauma surgeon Dr. Stewart Wang told The Detroit News.  "I think that the potential benefits are quite substantial."

As automakers look for new ways to attract car buyers, Ford has been quick to introduce in-car technology and additional features unavailable in some baseline and midrange vehicles from competing companies.

The new optional safety device will eventually be available for all Ford vehicles, but will have an additional cost auto buyers must pay.

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RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By SiliconAddict on 11/6/2009 11:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
*rolls eyes* Yah because it was a company that wasn't run into the ground by incompetent morons. I love how its: Obama is taking control. No you moron they could stay in control if they wanted too, but to get OUR money requires strings, namely oversight. If you use our money you are damn well going to be monitored that you are using it correctly.
Sadly they didn't make such stipulation towards the bailouts of the banks. With the results being insane bonuses, gold parachutes in the hundreds of millions, and loans that are barely making its way out to the people who need it. And of course Obama is blamed for that as well. Doesn't matter what he does....he is going to be the scapegoat for everything.
But of course if they had everyone and their mother would have been up in arms that AHHHH GOV TAKEOVER.
I'm sick of people complaining about oversight when its obvious that companies are not interested in what is good for their customers, but more interested in what is good for their share holders and the bottom line. This is a fundamental design flaw in how a corporation functions IMHO. Until business ethics really do start coming into play, oversight isn't just a good idea, its mandatory.

Meanwhile I will probably have a friend that won't survive to see Jan 1st because she lost her job last November and had no way to pay for the examination to check out a lump. Its now terminal. But of course when anyone speaks of socialized healthcare its obviously evil. All these fundies who are rallying around people like Michelle Bachman can all burn in the deepest pits of Hell.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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