American automaker Ford has introduced a new knee airbag that is installed in the lid of the glovebox and yet provides the same safety levels as a conventional airbag.
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The new Ford Mustang comes with a knee airbag that is fitted in the glovebox and is the first ever of its kind. The knee airbag is fitted in the lid of the glovebox instead of the instrument panel, thus freeing up a lot of space for the passenger. While most airbags are made up of textile fabric, this new airbag is made up of a plastic mould that is slotted between the inner and outer surfaces of the lid. The airbag measures 46 cm in length and 28 cm in width and it weighs around 65% less than a regular knee airbag.
Inspite of the lower weight, the airbag still offers the same amount of protection as a conventional airbag. When a collision occurs, a small gas generator inside the glovebox lid inflates the bladder in 20 milliseconds and it pushes the lid exterior outwards to provide protection to the leg. This innovation has already been granted 23 patents. The reduction in weight of the airbag also aids the vehicle to deliver marginally better fuel efficiency. The new Mustang gets a total of eight airbags and North American authorities have awarded it the highest possible safety standards.
To make this unique airbag, Ford engineers went through hundreds of designs over the past year. The company has been increasing its focus on safety, even in the Indian market. The Figo Aspire gets dual front airbags as standard which is a segment first. What is also a first in the segment are side airbags (total of six airbags) on top trims. The Detroit headquartered car maker plans to launch the Mustang in the India market in the near future, bringing it via the CBU route.