Technological Trends in Occupant Protection Systems - Recent Research Challenges from the German Point of View 960663

Sophisticated car occupant protection systems, such as airbags and belt restraints are becoming the most frequent safety devices found today. Within the span of a few years, technology has been developed to meet market needs as well as technical requirements. But today, airbag technology is still in the basic development stage.
The vision of car occupant protection presented here includes further development of “smart protection systems”, including overall safety management. Automatic restraint systems, electronics and system management will proceed to a new quality of car occupant protection. Future developments for occupant protection systems are, for example
  • crash-predicting sensors
  • Occupant sensing systems
  • Controllable gas release for airbag inflators
  • Performance depending on crash severity
  • Multiple bag deployment strategies
  • Alternative inflator systems
Overall safety management, including crash detection, airbag deployment, fire extinguishing system, side impact protection, new cushioning materials
concerning weight, performance and a rational cost- benefit relation.
Applied research has to challenge those requirements. The paper will give an overview of current research activities, including the German point of view of the Fraunhofer Society, a partner of automobile manufacturers for 20 years.


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