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Ford Motor Co. Fits Airbag Size to Occupants

March 2002, by Staff

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. is developing technology to make its Personal Safety System even more effective with new airbag and safety belt technology that more closely matches the safety systems to the size of occupants and severity of a crash.

Ford is showing a preview of the new technology at this year's North America International Auto Show in Detroit.

Today's airbag and safety belt systems are designed to meet the needs of an average-sized 150-pound adult. Ford now is working on advancements to its Personal Safety System to allow it to distinguish between a child, small adult or teenager, average adult, or large adult, and to deploy restraints accordingly. The improvements will help to further reduce the risk of real world fatalities and serious injuries for customers.

The patented Personal Safety System is available today on the Ford Taurus, Windstar and Crown Victoria, the Mercury Stable and Grand Marquis, and the Lincoln Town Car. Later in 2002, it will become standard equipment on the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs. The system will eventually be available on all Ford Motor Co. cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Today, the Personal Safety System uses a series of sensors to analyze accident and occupant conditions and determine how the airbags and safety belt restraints should respond for occupant protection in frontal crashes. In the future, Ford is developing technology that could take into account not only crash severity, front-seat safety belt use, and how close the driver is to the steering wheel, but also a person's size. New sensors in the vehicle sears will be able to differentiate between a child, a small adult, a medium adult, and a large adult.




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