Automotive News

Air Bags Cocoon Driver in GMC Acadia

Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Hopefully a safety staple
Beth Stackpole   2/14/2012 6:50:41 AM
Happy to see any kind of development that increases driver and passenger safety. But I have to ask--a cushioney, center air bag seems like a no brainer. Why has it taken so long to be introduced into vehicles?

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Re: Hopefully a safety staple
Alexander Wolfe   2/14/2012 9:25:37 AM
I've begun to wonder whether adding airbags, once they were up to 8 per car, was as much a marketing thing as safety. That's cynical and not fair, I know, but the talk about airbags generally leaves out a discussion of the importance of the crumple zone in crash survivability. Anyway, the salient line in this story is the quote: "You need to have enough available height to give the bag proper [crash] coverage." So in this case the front center bag seems to be a really useful addition.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
T-bone cushion
Rob Spiegel   2/14/2012 2:43:32 PM
Nice details, Chuck. I didn't realize the driver and passenger bump heads in side crashes. I think this is a great idea. The t-bone is a nasty collision. It looks like engineers thought this one through. 

User Rank
Full volume air-cushion expansion-?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   2/15/2012 8:01:59 AM

Alex, I curl a wry smile of acknowledgment to your statement of marketing ploy vs. actual safety concerns – the world is saturated with far too many unrealistic claims designed only to get into people's wallets.  However, when it comes to airbags, I think the more bags in a cabin, the better.  Watching the video clip showing the deployment, it is evident that even larger areas within the cabin volume could be covered with airbags in future models.  Moreover, I think engineers will solve the issue of restricted inflation due to lower ceilings pretty quickly, and seat-side bags will be seen on sedans and even compacts in the near future.  Seems like the vision has evolved from a "balloon on the steering wheel" to more of injecting total volume cushion for the inside space. Trending in the right direction, I believe,,,,

User Rank
ChasChas   2/15/2012 9:57:38 AM
My friend hit a deer at highway speed and the air bag popped out. The air bag truly interfered with evasive manuvers - it almost put him in the ditch.

The car makers need to be careful. After the initial collision, very often there are control inputs that can and should be make. (I know from racing.) If you can't see or the vehicle is automatically disabled or if that bloody white powder from the air bag is making you choke and cough - not good.

User Rank
OLD_CURMUDGEON   2/15/2012 10:25:33 AM
WOW!  What's next?  I have a far better solution......  Instead of contracting w/ mechanical & pneumatic engineers to rapidly deploy air bags, they should invest in advancing the technology of the expanding insulating foam which home builders are now using in exterior walls.  Of course, they'd need to get some chemists involved to provide an almost instantaneous expansion to be truly effective.  The best part of this plan is that since the front windshield is designed to pop out, the extra pressure created by the foam would force the window out, making it much easier for the EMT personnel on scene to extract the solidified mass.  With total containment achieved, the IIHS would not have to keep statistics on neck or back injuries due to whiplash or concussions from the driver & passenger banging heads, since they'd be totally immobilized.

So glad I can still get parts for my 1938 HUPMOBILE!  It doesn't have any of these modern-day accessories.


User Rank
Too Complicated
jake   2/15/2012 12:18:22 PM
From a design perspective, the best design is the one that gets the job done with the least complexity and cost. At the next viewing of a NASCAR or Indy race, count the number of airbags deployed in the event of a crash. A simple 5-point seat belt and better designed head support in the seat might be as effective as trying to add all the extra airbags. It would also be simpler and cheaper. Just because adding one airbag in the steering wheel proved effective over not having any doesn't mean that that it is the final or preferred solution to safety.

User Rank
The RACING COMMENT is spot on..
oldtimer8080   2/15/2012 9:43:25 PM
Our racecars are not required to have all the FEDERALLY MANDATED SAFETY BS SOLUTIONS.

I will not own a car with airbags and will make sure that the ones that I do buy have them are disabled..

I worked for a company that was designing robots for OEA out of the Denver area. Their speciality was explosive bolts ( for the military ) and AIRBAG IGNITERS ( AKA AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT CARTRIDGES ).

The reason they wanted robotic travelling handlers became very obvious one day.

The force of ONE igniter has the power of 1/4 stick of dynamite!

When you have a tray of SIXTEEN go off:

A three foot hole in the side of the bunker they were stored in

The panelling for the roof of the building was completely blown off!!

( the main force of the charges was directed upwards )

I do NOT like driving around with the equivelent of an m-80 inches from my face...You should also thinkof the person smoking a cigarette or a pipe and of course the person chewing on a toothpick...

The first time GM looked at the " airbag solution ", the  crash test dummies kept getting decapitated and moved into the back seat.

A FIVE POINT BELT system is good enough safety for our racecar. A THREE POINT HARNESS was good enough for my XJ12s....150MPH STOCK....


BTW, James Bond had the ultimate airbag safety system.  It was good for some laughs the first time we saw it...








Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Hopefully a safety staple
Charles Murray   2/16/2012 8:22:19 PM
Beth, there's been talk of center air bags for quite a while, but they haven't been added for two reasons: They are best suited for vehicles with lots of vertical head room, and they are an additional cost. GM didn't say this, but I think it would be tough to ever get this technology to trickle down to low-end vehicles like the Chevy Cruze.  

Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Hopefully a safety staple
Charles Murray   2/16/2012 8:25:15 PM
Alex, you're exactly right about the crumple zone. I didn't get into it here, but I asked GM why they added this technology instead of knee bags, which are growing in popularity. They said the Acadia didn't need knee bags because it has big crumple zone in front to absorb crash energy.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Automotive News
In another sign that self-driving cars are on the distant horizon, Ford has been granted a patent for an “autonomous vehicle with reconfigurable seats.”
Combining ultra-lightweight materials with a monster 750-horsepower engine, engineers at Automobili Lamborghini have created one of the world’s fastest (and most expensive) new convertibles.
The widening probe of Takata Corp.’s airbag failures raises an important and largely overlooked question for design engineers: What do the ruptured airbag inflators say about accelerated life testing?
Lithium-ion battery prices will drop rapidly over the next 10 years, setting the stage for plug-in vehicles to reach 5%-10% of total automotive sales by the mid- to late-2020s, according to a new study.
For city dwellers, finding a parking space can be a time-consuming and downright exasperating task. Now, however, engineers may have found a solution to that old urban problem.
Design News Webinar Series
8/13/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/24/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 31 - Sep4, Embedded System Design Techniques™ - Writing Portable and Robust Firmware in C
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course August 25-27:
Sponsored by MICROMO
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service