Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities

Honda has planned to release in 2020 new airbag technology that will save more lives and prevent severe injuries in frontal collision accidents. Specifically, Honda anticipates the improved multi-chamber airbag will provide better protection to vehicle occupants in frontal collisions that occur between two vehicles and accidents in which a vehicle collides with a stationary object.

A Gentler Multi-Chamber Airbag Design

A geometric design is at the center of the highly anticipated airbags improve safety performance. The three-chamber inflatable design is aided by a sail panel. Two inflatable side panels are positioned across the vehicle's dashboard while the sail panel stretches between the two chambers during a crash. The central panel catches the vehicle occupant's head and gently redirects the forward motion. The side panels are simultaneously pulled inward to cradle the vehicle occupant's head. Preliminary research indicates traumatic brain injury occurs in a collision when the head rotates. The geometric design of Honda's new "catcher's mitt" airbag aims to eliminate the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by preventing the head from rotating.

A Legacy in Safety Innovation

Honda led the industry in 1990 when it employed the first upward-deploying front airbag, which eventually became standard across all automakers. Although the multi-chamber "catcher's mitt" airbag contains a first manufacturer clause that will be in effect for an undisclosed period of time, Honda believes the bag will follow a similar trajectory to that of the original upward-deploying front airbag. The new airbag will utilize an inflator that is manufactured by Autoliv, Honda's partner in producing the multi-chamber airbag, Honda has not used the once-popular Takata inflators in its airbags for more than two years following industry-wide drawbacks related to poor performance in Takata inflators.