Memmingen, Germany, June 2019. There is a deafening but muted sound, as a vehicle crashes into the side of another medium-sized vehicle without braking. The loud bang that we hear, however, is not caused by the collision, as the impacting vehicle in this demonstration is a soft dummy vehicle. The noise comes from the deployment of a large airbag now visible on the passenger side of the impacted vehicle. If this was a real crash on a normal road, the people in the vehicle likely could have come out of the accident with significantly less severe injuries thanks in part to the external airbag.
“Our pre-crash safety system with an external side airbag has the potential to reduce passenger injury severity in a side impact collision by up to 40 percent“, says Uwe Class, Head of the 'Safe Mobility Systems' Advanced Engineering department at ZF. “Our safety innovation provides an additional crumple zone with which cars have previously not been equipped. A fact that the live crash test has just revealed.“