In order to enhance the comfort and safety level of passengers, Mercedes-Benz has decided to introduce inflatable seatbelts which will be installed on rear seats of a car.
By using inflatable seatbelts, Mercedes has turned out to be the second automaker to offer this technology that was originally introduced by Ford on the redesigned 2011 Explorer’s rear seats. However, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT are also equipped with this system. Ford also announced that it will offer this technology on Mondeo sedan for its European customers.
“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.”
The German automaker said that it will introduce this system in its upcoming luxury car. The company, however, did not reveal which production car will be the first to get this technology, but the most likely candidate is the next generation S-Class, which is likely to go into production next year. Mercedes is expected to launch the redesigned S-class sedan in 2013, probably at the Detroit or Geneva auto events.
The company said that the system will only be installed on rear seat belts. It is equipped with a small airbag along with a rear belts’ shoulder strap. In case of some collision, the system suddenly senses it and the air bag in the belt inflates. The extended bag then expands according to the width of the belt, helping cover a wide area of the commuter’s torso and minimizing the chance of injuries.
Mercedes said it will not use this system for front seat passengers as they are already protected with the typical airbags to soften the impact.