Mercedes Inflatable Hybrid
The Mercedes ESF S400 Hybrid uses smart adjustable airbags throughout the vehicle. In addition to 4 front seat airbags, an inflatable device deploys vertically between the two front seats to protect heads and extremities from striking each other in a collision. Rear seat passengers have inflatable seatbelts that spread the force of impact to help soften the blow.
Steel side-impact beams in the doors inflate by explosive charges, pressurizing and increasing their diameter to strengthen them just 30 milliseconds before an accident occurs. But the most impressive inflatable device is the ESF’s braking bag. Just prior to a frontal impact, a rubber-coated steel frame inflates from the bottom of the car between the front wheels causing the front of the vehicle to maintain proper bumper height and soft impact with a car in front of it.
The ESF S400 uses a 360-degree radar system and a powerful computer that monitors dozens of vehicle parameters before determining that an accident is unavoidable through driver interaction. The goal is to take advantage of the time left that human reflexes cannot.
The ESF also has a telematics systems that allows it to ‘talk’ to other cars on the road, communicating their positions and information like weather and road conditions, so the car knows what’s coming, even before the driver or its onboard sensors get a look.