Next gen Mercedes Benz S Class to offer all new safety feature: Beltbag

Mercedes Benz is going to offer one more safety feature, on its already loaded luxury class model S Class. The all new BeltBag, is an inflatable seat belt strap which will ensure better safety to passengers at the rear in the case of a head on collision. It will act as a brace and lessen the impact to the ribcage.

Beltbag gets deployed and inflated immediately when crash sensors detect any sort of impending frontal collision. This Beltbag is further inflated to three times its normal width offering better support, safety and protection to passengers. Beltbag is strapped on in same way as you would any regular seatbelt.  It is a tried and tested device that has been put through a series of tests and has passed these tests where safety, comfort and deployment are concerned.

The straps are wide, made of soft durable material and hence offer an added level of comfort to passengers. These Beltbags are not designed for front seat occupants who already have airbags in the front of all Mercedes Benz models. With introduction of these new Beltbags, Mercedes Benz is further expanding their safety features offered to customers at the rear of their vehicles thus showing their care and concern and continued research in making them leaders where safety within vehicles are concerned.

Beltbag will be first offered in the next gen Mercedes Benz S Class which will be unveiled next year. Later on, Mercedes Benz will install this safety feature in their other models, including small cars A Class.

For more information, read the press release below.


Auto News Release

Stuttgart. The Beltbag, one of the highlights from the ESF 2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle, is due to go into production in a luxury-class model from Mercedes-Benz. The inflatable seat-belt strap is able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain placed on the ribcage.

Should the crash sensors detect a severe frontal impact, the airbag control unit will trigger deployment and inflation of the Beltbag. A gas generator then inflates the multi-layered belt strap with Velcro seams to nearly three times its normal width. The resulting larger surface area is able to better distribute the force acting on the seat occupant, thereby reducing the risk of injury.
The Beltbag can be used in exactly the same way as a conventional seat belt. The belt strap’s design is different from that of the standard belt though, and received top marks in practical trials for being extremely comfortable to wear and for its extra-soft belt strap edge.

“Mercedes-Benz is pursuing its safety initiative in the rear of vehicles with the Beltbag,” comments Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Passive Safety and Vehicle Functions at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “After all, the excellent standard of safety offered by Mercedes-Benz doesn’t just apply to all model series, but to all seats, too.”

Just like the active seat-belt buckle recently presented by Mercedes-Benz that is likewise earmarked for inclusion in a luxury model, the Beltbag was developed with a particular view toward new markets. There, the occupancy rate in the rear is as much as 30 percent, making it much higher than in Europe. By introducing the Beltbag, Mercedes-Benz is further expanding the safety system for passengers in the rear – in contrast to many other manufacturers, seat belts in the second row of Mercedes-Benz models already come equipped with belt tensioners and belt force limiters. It is not planned to introduce the Beltbag for the front occupants, as airbags are already included in the front on all models as a supplementary restraint system.

Because dummy measurement technology is not capable of quantifying the benefits resulting from a wider belt strap, such as the lower force exerted on occupants, the safety experts at Mercedes have also been working intensely with virtual human models, as such computer-generated models make it possible to obtain detailed findings on the biomechanical strain during a collision.