A recent patent application has revealed Mercedes-Benz‘s external airbag design.
The German automaker is looking to patent its method of installing airbags in a car’s A-pillars, so they inflate if the vehicle accidentally hits a pedestrian. According to the patent application, sensors would determine whether a collision has occurred, which would then cause the hood to move upward near the windshield, with extra cushions deploying from the A-pillars.
The external airbags would reside inside a fabric tube so they’re not visible unless they’re deployed, with one end attaching to the top of the A-pillar, and the other on the tip of the hood. Essentially, Mercedes-Benz’s design would allow the airbags to adjust as the hood rises, so pedestrians would come in contact with the airbag rather than a hard surface like the windshield.
The patent application was filed on July 7, 2015 but was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on August 3, 2017. The idea is similar to the pedestrian airbag Volvo first detailed in 2012.
“A vehicle includes a pedestrian protection device having a car hood that can be opened on at least one edge facing the windscreen when a collision of a person against the vehicle is recognized,” the patent application reads. “The device also includes at least one airbag, which in the triggered state, extends across a region of a windscreen pillar and a region of the windscreen adjacent to this.”
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