It’s the sort of thing that one might find in a James Bond movie, or something that Caractacus Potts would come up with. But industry supplier TRW has confirmed that the development of external airbags for cars is now under way.
The idea is that these airbags will significantly increase passenger protection by deploying from beneath a vehicle’s door the second before a side impact.
Why this is really good news
Side crashes account for around 40% of all accidents. Although I’m a bull bar man, it’s fair to say that common frontal protection systems would be pretty useless in these cases.
The science bit
So how the heck will the airbags know when to inflate? Well, there will be a clever radar and camera system installed, which will be used specifically to detect an imminent collision.
This technology, along with the inflators and the material used for the bag itself, is still to be perfected, but TMR hopes to have these airbags installed on production vehicles by 2020. (Eat your heart out Q!)