Honda has announced the development of a new passenger front airbag designed to better protect occupants in several frontal collision scenarios. Honda plans to begin applying the airbag design to new products in the United States in 2020.
Honda and Autoliv, one of the company’s safety systems suppliers, partnered to develop and test the new airbag. The USA’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2017, upwards of 37,000 people lost their lives on US roads as a result of motor vehicle crashes.
Honda’s next-generation airbag is designed to reduce potential injuries that can occur in a wider variety of frontal impacts. Honda believes that it’s particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts, where lateral collision forces can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.
The new system utilises four major components – three inflated compartments, a centre chamber, and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash. The fourth component is a sail panel, which stretches between the two side chambers at the outer edge, catching and slowing the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers. This pulls the head inward to cradle and protect it, mitigating the potential for injury.