Ford Motor Company is planning on offering intellectual property for inflatable safety belt system that enhances protection for seated passengers, especially children and the elderly. It first introduced rear inflatable safety belts in 2010, and continues to expand availability on Ford and Lincoln brand vehicles. The technology is potentially applicable to other forms of seated-passenger transportation, including military use, and airborne passengers traveling by helicopter or airplane, and even for water travel.
Bill Coughlin, president and CEO, Ford Global Technologies says “Ford’s longstanding commitment to democratizing technology goes beyond our customers. In this case, the wider adoption of inflatable safety belts has the potential to make travel safer and help mitigate passenger injuries – especially among children and the elderly.”
Inflatable safety belts operate like conventional safety belts and in a crash the inflatable safety belt deploys over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder to help distribute crash forces up to five times more area than a traditional safety belt. Spreading the pressure over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion.
The inflatable safety belt is currently available on Ford Explorer, Flex, Fusion and the upcoming 2015 F-150, as well as Lincoln MKT and MKZ for outboard second-row seating positions.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 180,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford’s history in the Middle East goes back more than 60 years. The company’s local importer-dealers operate more than 155 facilities in the region and directly employ more than 7,000 people, the majority of whom are Arab Nationals.