Most airbag systems currently in use rely on crash detection systems containing sensors based on electromechanical technologies to trigger deployment. The majority of these systems contain multiple sensors located in different parts of the vehicle which are capable of identifying significant crashes in a timely manner. Systems based on other technologies such as all-mechanical or electronic sensors have also been employed in a small number of upscale vehicle platforms. Industry emphasis on cost reduction and quality improvement has resulted in a strong interest in alternate sensor technologies. Thus sensors based on new candidate technologies are now under evaluation for use in the near future.A meaningful evaluation of these systems must account for possible tradeoffs including cost, reliability and overall performance. Breed Technologies, Inc. has outlined a comparative evaluation of such systems based on these criteria. Issues covered include single vs. multi-point sensing, performance evaluation, reliability studies and appropriate criteria for evaluation, and cost factors. The overall criteria for evaluation on the part of the vehicle manufacturer based on liability issues and vehicle technology changes are also discussed.