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Airbags~Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Published December 04, 2006 by Fraunhofer Institut Chemische Technologie in Germany
Event: Airbag 2006
Today airbags are widely accepted as effective lifesaving devices and are standard equipment on millions and millions of passenger vehicles sold around the world each year. The technology has reached the point that some models now have as many as nine airbags - two frontal, four side torso, two side curtain, and driver knee bags. I wonder, however, how many of today's automotive safety engineers who accept airbags as important components of occupant protection packages understand what a tortuous path was involved in getting to this point?
I will outline the history of airbags, review some aspects of today's technology, and offer some thoughts about tomorrow's airbags. The roles of regulation, litigation, consumer information, and industry needs in reaching where we are today also will be addressed.