The external airbag mechanism would work alongside an adjustable bonnet to reduce pedestrian injuries.
A recently published patent has revealed Mercedes’ ambitious plans to install external airbags in their cars for pedestrian safety. Going by the leaks, it is pretty evident that the German company has found a way to install airbags in the car’s A-pillars – which would inflate in case of a collision with a pedestrian.
This mechanism is expected to work with the help of two other aids – onboard sensors and an adjustable bonnet. The external airbags would be fitted inside a fabric tube, and when the sensors sense a collision, the bonnet will move upwards towards the windshield, and the external airbag would deploy at the same time.
Furthermore, the external airbag would accordingly adjust itself as the bonnet of the car rises – in order to prevent the pedestrian from thrashing on a hard surface like the windshield or the bonnet’s metal.
The aforementioned fabric tube, which would house the external airbag, will have one of its end attached to the top of the A-pillar, and the other one to the tip of the bonnet. Covers will keep the airbags invisible, protect them airbags from external environment, and will also keep them from spoiling the vehicle’s aesthetics.
Originally, the patent application was filed in June 2015, but is only recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Rival company Volvo had also showcased a similar pedestrian airbag concept sometime back.