Report – External side bags could be on their way image

According to Auto Express, before the end of the decade external side airbags could make their way onto a standard production car – mainly a premium German saloon.

In a bid to reduce injuries from side crashes, the new side airbags were developed by auto industry supplier, TRW, and they are set to deploy from the sill beneath the doors in fractions of a second before a side impact occurs, helping to further alleviate injuries to occupants in the car.

“Side crashes are still one of the highest accident rates, accounting for 37-40 per cent of accidents,” said TRW’s vice-president and general manager lifecycle management, Norbert Kagerer.

This is a EU funded project, which began in Spain three years ago with SEAT heavily involved, although it’s not the brand thought to be using them initially. Usually, the 200-litre bag – which is 15-20cm deep, 70cm high and 200cm long – rotates upwards when fully deployed, protecting both the front and rear doors up to the belt line.

To ensure a rapid deployment of just 20-30 milliseconds, two inflators are used. TRW has patented a unique inner structure to make the bag stiffer, while the bag’s pressure depends on the manufacturer’s strategy.

Via Auto Express