Thursday, June 26, 2014

Further with Ford 2014: Ford Debuts Industry's First Five-Row Side-Curtain Airbag


The all-new Ford Transit 15-passenger wagon makes its debut in the United States and Canada with the industry’s only five-row side-curtain airbag.

Part of Ford Motor Company’s Safety Canopy® System, this jumbo airbag is designed to help provide enhanced head and neck protection in rollover and side-impact crashes.

“The Transit wagon’s five-row side-curtain airbag is a great technological innovation that allows us to provide a high level of protection to multiple passengers in one of Ford’s largest vehicles,” said Sean West, Ford restraints manager. “We are proud to build on our safety leadership.”

The airbag measures close to 15 feet long and 3 feet tall with a volume of 120 liters. By comparison, a side-curtain airbag for a sedan like Ford Fusion is approximately 6.8 feet long and 2 feet tall with a volume of 42 liters.

In a crash situation, a series of sensors detects the impact and triggers two of the industry’s largest inflators to fill the entire airbag with stored gas in a fraction of a second. The inflators fill the bag in a pattern engineered to manage the direction of bag deployment and control cushion thickness throughout the length of the bag. The airbag is made of a coated, polyester-based fabric that holds the gas, so the bag remains inflated for several seconds.

The single-bag design – in conjunction with tethering and the vehicle’s B-, C- and D-pillars – helps keep the curtain supported when deployed.

Ford developed the five-row side-curtain airbag in cooperation with TRW Automotive, a global supplier of active and passive safety systems.

“This airbag technology is unique in its purpose, which is to help provide protection across five rows of passengers in a cabin that is more spacious than the more traditional light-duty vehicle,” said Norbert Kagerer, vice president, Occupant Safety Systems Engineering for TRW Automotive. “The stringent customer and industry regulatory requirements for airbags called for developing a system that provides appropriate occupant protection in a smart package.”

The side-curtain airbag is just one of many standard safety features on the all-new Ford Transit wagon. Other standard safety features for Transit wagon include front and front-seat side airbags for the driver and front passenger, three-point safety belts for all seats, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ and SOS Post-Crash Alert System™.

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