External Airbags for Side Crashes Currently Under Development

The 2014 Mercedes S-Class may have introduced the auto industry to new interior airbags, but the next step for cars is to have their exterior airbags upgraded. TRW Automotive is currently working to develop exterior airbags that would protect vehicles in side crashes.
External Airbags for Side Crashes 1 photo
The bags are designed to deploy from the side sills in 20-30 milliseconds, but the challenge for TRW at the moment is to create an array of cameras and radars that will dictate the precise moment for the action.

TRW explained that it expects the new airbags to be featured on premium German cars by the end of the decade. The tested airbags measure 2,000 mm in length, 700 mm in width and are between 150 and 200 mm thick, offering a capacity of 200 liters.

“Side crashes are still one of the highest accident rates, accounting for 37-40 per cent of accidents,” Vice-president of TRW, Norbert Kagerer, said.

The project, which is funded by the European Union follows Volvo’s first external airbag - we wrote about this in our V40 Cross Country test drive, with a pedestrian airbag deploying from the base of the windshield.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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