While side curtain airbags are not an innovative or path breaking technology in automotive active and passive safety systems, but for a 5-row 15-seater Ford Transit van, the idea has been taken to an all-new level. Ford has introduced industry’s first full-length side curtain airbag on the Transit van that has been designed to protect its occupants as part of the Motor Company’s Safety Canopy system. As Ford states, the side curtain airbag has been specifically designed to help provide enhanced head and neck protection in rollover and side-impact crashes.
The side curtain airbag measures 15-feet long and is 3-feet tall, having an internal volume of 120-litres. To put things into perspective, the side curtain of the Ford Fusion sedan is approximately 6.8-feet long and 2-feet tall, with a volume of 42-litres. So in order to cover five rows of seats, the airbag is almost thrice the size of a regular side curtain airbag developed for the Transit. Ford states that despite the large volume of gas, the airbag still inflates instantly and has been engineered to deploy evenly and then remain inflated for a few seconds after impact.
Ford has developed the side curtain airbags for the Transit in partnership with TRW Automotive, a global supplier of active and passive safety systems. The side curtain airbags are now standard on the 2015 Ford Transit models, which also comes with other mandatory safety features inclusive of front seat side airbags for the driver and front passenger, three-point safety belts on all seats, Ford’s AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and SOS Post-Crash Alert System. Should we expect India’s most popular vans like the Maruti Omni and Eeco to get at least front airbags?