The airbag is one of the most important innovations in the history of the car, perhaps only behind the seat belt. Since it was made mandatory in most markets, it has saved countless lives. Maybe that’s why most manufacturers have chosen not to touch what already works.
And it is that the operation and basic design of the airbag has changed little in all these decades. It remains an inflatable bag that activates instantly in case of a hit; The goal is for our body to move as little as possible in case of an accident. These sudden movements are the main cause of injuries, which can cause death if they occur in important areas such as the neck.
So far, the major innovations related to the airbag have focused on increasing its number (to the point of wrapping all occupants) and improving its integration inside, its design and its activation. At first, the flyers with airbags were large and did not have the horn integrated, for example.
This is how the new Honda airbag works
But now Honda says it’s time to radically change the design of the airbag, and not for any reason. And it is that the airbag also has its defects, which until now have not been solved.
The design presented by Honda is not composed of an inflatable part, but three. The central is responsible for stopping the movement of our head, and the two sides ensure that the skull does not move to the sides. Therefore, this airbag is something like a baseball glove, designed so that the “ball” does not escape.
The goal is to end the injuries caused by the airbag itself; because yes, the airbag causes injuries, and I don’t just talk about the impact on the face of the explosive expansion. One of the biggest dangers is that we don’t hit the airbag completely in front; If our skull hits with an angle, it is possible that our face slides along the surface of the airbag and the neck ends up rotating more than it should.
The airbag designed by Honda avoids this, trapping the head and preventing unnecessary movements. The Japanese manufacturer believes that it will be more effective in collisions that are not completely frontal; When a car crashes into another or an obstacle, it is much more common for the crash to occur at an angle, and this airbag protects against it.
Honda expects to produce the first cars with this new airbag from 2020.