ZF is set to launch new airbag concept which includes a passenger and curtain airbag system with either V or U-shaped design features. This system is designed to better protect both the front seat occupants from serious injuries even the vehicle collides head-on and from the left at 90 km/h.
National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) will add this performance test scenario, known as the Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier for the North American New Car Assessment Programme for new vehicles as of MY 2019.
The organisation is planning to toughen those regulations by applying the OMDB crash test developed from oblique accident scenarios in North America from MY 2019.
Dirk Schultz, ZF Airbags & Gas Generators, Active & Passive Safety Technology Division, head of global development said, "Our new system consisting of front and curtain airbags can help improve a vehicle's safety performance in these crash test scenarios."
He added, "The curtain airbags come with V or U-shaped airbag chambers and offer improved protection. There is an opportunity for improvement on conventional airbags to help better protect an occupant in the OMDB scenario.
"After all, that test involves a moving deformable barrier weighing almost 2.5t striking a non-moving vehicle at 90 km/h head-on at an angle of 15 degrees and with a 35% overlap. In addition to this OMDB crash test, the NHTSA will also be deploying the new Test devices for Human Occupant Restraints (THOR) dummies.
"These are highly sensitive test devices that more accurately record how accidents affect the occupants. The comprehensive data we collected helped us determine what to focus on to help further improve safety."
The new ZF airbags have an extra feature to protect the occupants' head from hitting the dashboard in the event of an OMDB-type crash. The airbag supplier enhanced the curtain airbags installed in the roof liners with a bag design for maximum safety.
An additional safety cushion inflates next to the driver's head in the event collision. "In comprehensive test series, we have demonstrated this airbag geometry helps to enhance occupant safety. It comes in a pointed V-shape or a rounded U-shape, depending on the vehicle's interior design," Schultz added.
Zf has also developed its parallel cell front seat passenger airbag to better absorb the front seat passenger's movement when a crash occurs. The new system also features a chamber design with a geometry widened towards the centre of the vehicle.
Schultz added, "This airbag concept helps to cushions the head's rolling motion when it impacts the airbag at an angle - and is designed to reduce the risk of head injury."