ZF presents new solutions at ‘Airbag 2018’ symposium

ZF has presented the current state of development as well as new solutions at the ‘Airbag 2018’ symposium in Mannheim from November 26 to 28.

“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Dr. Michael Büchsner, Head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.”

Designed to be deployed externally from the side of the vehicle, this airbag helps serve as an additional crumple zone in the event of an accident. Tests have shown it can help reduce the occupant injury severity up to 40 percent. ZF will present the current state of development of this external pre-crash system at the symposium, describing amongst other things the activation strategy and pole test requirements.

The adaptive ‘dual contour’ airbags are designed to adapt to the occupant position and the new degree of freedom in the passenger compartment that automated driving has created. ZF’s development of a far-side airbag is well advanced. It unfolds in the vehicle’s center and is designed to help meet future regulatory testing.

“The new test requirements of Euro NCAP, scheduled to be introduced by 2020, extend occupant safety requirements for the side facing away from the occupants in case of a side impact,” says Norbert Kagerer, Head of Development at ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division.

ZF is also addressing other automotive megatrends with the lightest knee airbag in the automotive industry: “Due to its lower weight, the vehicle consumes less fuel and gives off fewer emissions,” says Kagerer. “In addition, the smaller and more flexible size helps meet new interior requirements of future electric and autonomous vehicles.” Featuring a housing made of fabric instead of metal, ZF’s new development weighs up to 30 percent less than conventional knee airbags. Volume production will begin in 2019, the company said.

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