The Automatic Cushion Restraint - A New Passive Safety System 720439

The new passive restraint system comprises a pad or cushion automatically retained in place against the chest of a car occupant, and a knee restraint. In normal circumstances, the chest restraint is held in contact with the occupant by light spring pressure so that he is free to lean forward to reach door handles and the like; in an accident, the arm supporting the pad is locked in position, and forward movement of the chest is then controlled by the force exerted by the pad. Variation of this force with distance is determined by the characteristics of an energy absorber, which governs the movement of the arm. The forward movement of the lower part of the body is controlled by the knee restraint which must be capable of considerable deformation.
Both calculation and results of sled tests indicate that the system is likely to give good protection in frontal impacts, while extensive driving experience with prototype installations has produced favorable opinions on its acceptability to the driving public.


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