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Old 7th November 2009, 13:48   #1
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Default Ford Introduces First Inflatable Seat Belts

Ford is upping its safety quotient by being the first automaker to introduce inflatable seat belts.

The new technology helps spread crash force over the human body by as much as 5 times compared with the more concentrated area with a conventional seatbelt. The inflatable belts are designed for use in the rear-seats and are meant to help prevent critical head, chest and neck injuries, often by more vulnerable passengers such as children or the elderly.

The belts are inflated by a cold, compressed gas as opposed to how airbags work, which are blown up by a heat-making chemical reaction. Test subjects have also said that the belts feel more comfortable to wear, since they are softer. Ford claims the technology will also contribute to more rear seatbelt usage. The belts are compatible and can be used safely with all types of child seats too.

Ford says the inflatable belts will first be introduced in the next-generation Ford Explorer SUV which goes to production in 2010. The automaker says that the technology will eventually become available in most Ford models globally.

Source: WorldCarFans.com

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Old 12th November 2009, 11:00   #2
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The name supplier that was involved ( mostly involved ) in this development is revealed. The supplier is Key Safety Systems.

Source : Ford Inflatable Seat Belts Mystery Supplier Uncovered - No it's not Volvo

Article :

The supplier for Ford's new inflatable seatbelt technology has been revealed by Automotive News to be Key Safety Systems, a relatively small automotive supplier based in the state of Michigan.

When Ford first introduced the technology in an announcement last week, it did not name any suppliers involved in the development.

The technology Ford has developed is a cold-gas inflated airbag which is made part of the seatbelt. The inflatable belt allows impact force to be spread more widely around the body, by 5 times as much as a conventional belt, reducing the chances of head, neck and chest injuries. The technology will be used for rear seat passengers who are often the most vulnerable to those types of injuries, such as children or the elderly.

Ford will be introducing the inflatable belts in the next-generation Explorer model. The SUV will be given a new unibody chassis this time, as opposed to the body-on-frame chassis it had always been based on.

According to a ranking by Automotive News of the top 150 North American suppliers, Key Safety Systems comes in only at 104, with sales revenue from the auto industry of $363 million for 2008.

Ford and Key Safety Systems together are the patent holders on the technology. According to Paul Mascarenas, a Ford vice president in charge of engineering and global development, Ford hopes to keep the technology exclusive to its brands for at least a few years before other automakers begin to copy it.
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Old 12th November 2009, 11:31   #3
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So, another advanced safety feature from FORD - It looks good.
However all present cars have seat belt (front and rear) but how many are
using these seat belts (especially rear ones) regulalry?
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Old 12th November 2009, 15:31   #4
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It remains to be seen how effective these ones turn out to be?

Still the typical indian mentality is to wear only front seat belts just to avoid getting fined by traffic cops.
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Old 12th November 2009, 15:54   #5
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This is good. I had thought about the need of such a system due to my medical condition. With a normal seatbelt the force exerted by the restraining belt on your body will be considerable depending upon the speed you crash from. I have a two rods and some screws holding my spine together and i'm a bit scared about the situation if i ever get involved in a crash again. Even during emergency stops the force exerted by the belt on my body is enough so as to cause a bit of pain in my back. With such a seatbelt i'm sure for people like me it will be a lot better if we ever have to be restrained by the belt.
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