Honda has revealed its new airbag design for front passengers which promises to offer enhanced safety by reducing injury in case of frontal collisions. In comparison to the single-compartment design of a standard airbag, Honda's new design offers three-compartment layout which comes with raised outer compartments with a "sail panel" in-between them. The middle compartment is to catch the occupants head with the side panels providing additional protection by covering the head from the sides.
Honda's new airbag design is to prevent occupants in case of all kinds of crashes but particularly frontal ones which take place at a certain angle. In case of such an accident, it is quite possible that an occupant's head may completely slide off a traditional airbag or rotate in such a way to cause injury. The new design, not only slows down but also helps in stabilizing the occupant by providing additional cushioning.
“Operating something like a baseball catcher’s mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head, mitigating the potential for injury,” Honda said in a statement.
Honda's new three-compartment airbag design is a product of the automaker's advanced safety research centre located in Raymond, Ohio, USA. The new airbag will be used across US-spec Honda models starting 2020 after which it is likely to feature on its global models as well. In addition to this new airbag design, Honda is also working on 'Honda Sensing' suite which is to provide better safety technologies. Furthermore, for the luxury cars that the Japanese automaker sells under the Accura brand, there will an AccuraWatch suite which is to become standard on those models starting 2022.
This new innovation comes with the wake of Honda being at the centre of a major recall because of faulty Takata airbag inflators which have resulted in more than hundreds of injuries along with more than a dozen deaths in the United States alone.