Mercedes-Benz has announced that it has developed a new inflatable seatbelt, dubbed the Beltbag.
An inflatable seatbelt isn’t necessarily a new thing, since other automakers like Ford are already using them, but Mercedes-Benz has announced that it has developed a new inflatable seatbelt, dubbed the Beltbag.
The Beltbag is going to be used for extra protection for rear passengers. The Beltbag reduces the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain placed on the ribcage. Should the crash sensors detect a severe frontal impact, the airbag control unit will trigger deployment and inflation of the Beltbag. A gas generator then inflates the multi-layered belt strap with Velcro seams to nearly three times its normal width. The resulting larger surface area is able to better distribute the force acting on the seat occupant, thereby reducing the risk of injury.
Mercedes-Benz does not plan on introducing the technology for front occupants, since airbags are already in place in the front.
The Beltbag is expected to debut on the next-generation 2014 S-Class.