STUTTGART, GERMANY – Mercedes-Benz is planning to introduce inflatable seatbelt safety technology, which the company is calling the “BeltBag,” on a luxury model in the future. The BeltBag is designed to reduce the risk of injury in the rear of a vehicle in a head-on collision for rear-seat passengers. It’s designed to reduce the strain on the ribcage during such an event.
The BeltBag unit deploys when the vehicle’s crash sensors detect a “severe” front impact. A gas generator inflates the belt strap to nearly three times its normal width, thereby enabling the belt to distribute the force acting on a seat occupant and reduce injury. The automaker said it’s not interested in adding the BeltBag to the restraint system in the front seats of the company’s vehicles.
The company hasn’t specified whether it intends to offer this feature on vehicles sold in the U.S. at this time.