Designed to be deployed externally from the side of the vehicle, this airbag helps serve as an additional crumple zone in the event of an accident. Tests have shown it can help reduce the occupant injury severity up to 40 percent. ZF will present the current state of development of this external pre-crash system at the Airbag 2018 symposium in Germany, describing amongst other things the activation strategy and pole test requirements.

Well protected also in new seating positions

It will be possible to recline the seat or turn it to face other directions. Restraint systems like seatbelts and airbags must be designed to help protect the occupants in these flexible seating positions and will increasingly be integrated into the seat itself. Adaptive ‘dual contour’ airbags have been developed for this purpose.

Safety cushion in the middle

To help lower the risk of collision between front seat occupants or with interior structural components during cases such as far side impact, ZF’s development of a far-side airbag is well advanced. It unfolds in the vehicle’s center and is designed to help meet future regulatory testing: The new test requirements of Euro NCAP, scheduled to be introduced by 2020, extend occupant safety requirements for the side facing away from the occupants in case of a side impact.

Flexible flyweight

ZF is also addressing other automotive megatrends with the lightest knee airbag in the automotive industry: The smaller and more flexible size helps meet new interior requirements of future electric and autonomous vehicles. Featuring a housing made of fabric instead of metal, ZF’s new development weighs up to 30 percent less than conventional knee airbags and volume production will begin in 2019.

The steering wheel of the future

Partly or highly automated vehicles will for the foreseeable future feature a steering wheel that will evolve with new design features. In combination with new folding mechanisms, they will ensure more freedom of movement for the occupants.