Image courtesy of Ford.

Image courtesy of Ford.

A two-day festival celebrating American innovation, held Nov. 1-2 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., included an exhibit of Ford’s inflatable seat belt.

Ford Motor Co. was one of 10 companies selected to exhibit a technology product for the festival. In everyday use, inflatable belts operate like conventional safety belts. During a crash, however, the inflatable belt helps distribute crash forces across more of a passenger’s torso than a traditional belt – up to five times more. Spreading the pressure over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion.

“Ford has a rich history of developing industry-first technology,” said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies, “and for that effort, and to be recognized by such a prestigious institution, is a great honor for our team.”

The Innovation Festival is part of a five-year agreement between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Smithsonian Institution to develop programs and exhibitions celebrating American innovation.