ZF LIFETEC's Dual Stage Side Airbag: A New Leap in Passenger Safety

04/07/2024 - 15:55 | Featured | IAB Team

ZF LIFETEC has unveiled a groundbreaking two-stage side airbag designed to enhance passenger protection by increasing the crumple zone in the passenger compartment just before an unavoidable crash.

Zf Lifetec Dual Stage Side Airbag

The Pre-Crash Dual Stage Side Airbag (Dual Stage SAB) activates its first stage 200 milliseconds before impact, pushing occupants a few centimeters away from the expected collision point. This extra space allows the second stage of the airbag to deploy more effectively during the crash.

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Side collisions, accounting for about a quarter of all accidents in Europe, are a leading cause of severe injuries due to the limited crumple zone. ZF LIFETEC’s innovative system aims to mitigate this risk by utilizing the vehicle's existing signal acquisition system to detect imminent collisions and trigger the first stage of the airbag, creating a critical 60-millimeter buffer.

This system uses two inflators to manage the airbag’s stages. The first inflator slowly fills a 20-liter pre-crash chamber, moving occupants away from the impact zone. Upon collision, a second inflator rapidly fills an 18-liter chamber, deploying the classic side airbag to shield occupants from intruding vehicle parts.

Zf Lifetec Dual Stage Side Airbag Figure

ZF LIFETEC’s Dual Stage SAB has proven effective in various tests, including sled tests simulating pole impacts. The system is designed to function like a conventional side airbag if no pre-crash signal is detected, making it versatile and reliable.

The technology is set for further refinement and is expected to reach application maturity within the next few years, offering enhanced safety across different vehicle classes and seating positions.

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