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Mercedes and inflatable rear sea tbelt technology

German car maker Mercedes is planning to install a new rear  inflatable seat belt technology into their newer model cars. It would appear that the so-called ‘Beltbag’ will come installed in the new luxury-class models which will become the next-gen Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The seatbelt airbags will be installed on the rear passenger seatbelts and they will deploy when crash sensors will detect a severe frontal impact. Once an impact is detected, the multi-layered belt strap will inflate to nearly three times its normal width which will lead to a larger surface area and as a result it will mean a better distribution of force. The goal of the new type of seatbelt is to reduce the risk of rear-seat passengers in a head-on collision, by decreasing the strain placed on a relatively small area of the ribcage.

The German carmaker has developed the technology by working with virtual human models because traditional crash dummy measurement technology was not sufficient to offer the type of data that they were looking for. They were looking for how to quantify the benefits of a wider belt strap surface and this could only be done in an accurate and repeatable manner with the use of computer-generated models.

Now it should be noted that this technology is specific for rear seat occupants seeing how front seat occupants will have airbags installed already.

Ford was the first carmaker to introduce this technology into their cars, the inflatable rear seatbelts already being available in the 2011 Ford Explorer in North America, and they will also be an option for the next generation Mondeo models.

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