Ford Authority

Ford Patent Filed For External Airbag System For Pedestrians

Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for an external airbag system for pedestrians, Ford Authority has learned.

The patent was filed on March 1st, 2021, published on September 1st, 2022, and assigned serial number 0274558.

The Ford Authority Take

Ford has filed a large number of airbag-related patents in recent months, including one for a seat bottom mounted airbag that protects pets, a movable roof supported airbag system, an instrument panel mounted driver airbag, a full seatback airbag system, and an external airbag system that protects occupants in the event of a rollover crash. This new Ford patent also outlines an idea for external airbags, but in this case, those units are present to protect pedestrians.

Pedestrian-related accidents and deaths have risen dramatically in recent years, partly due to the popularity of larger SUVs, trucks, and vans, which feature longer hoods, larger A-pillars, and taller ride heights, all of which make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians crossing the road.

This patent aims to help mitigate that problem by utilizing an airbag in the front of the vehicle near the grille, which could inflate and cover the entire front end and hood area in the event that a collision is imminent. Sensors located in the front of the vehicle would be able to detect if a crash is about to happen with a pedestrian, at which point the airbag would inflate, hopefully preventing serious injury or, at the very least, a fatality.

This new Ford patent is certainly a good idea that could wind up being used in a real-world application at some point in the future, as it makes a ton of sense and presumably wouldn’t be that difficult to put together, particularly with the prevalence of sensors already used on modern-day vehicles.

We’ll have more on this and all Ford patents soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford trademark news, Ford business news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. whypac

    Well intended, probably.

    However, this would have to deploy on-think because on-hit would be too late. But the problem with on-think is, on-think doesn’t mean on-hit will actually occur. Can you imagine getting stuck with big repair bill for not hitting anything?

    Additionally, the vehicle hitting a pedestrian with the air bag deployed will not save the pedestrian from any after impact injuries. Sure, the initial impact will be cushioned on the car side, but then the standard physics of the impact will take over, meaning the pedestrian will be pushed and thrown per usual: either out in front of the vehicle in some direction, impacting the ground, concrete, what have you; or up over the hood impacting the windshield.

    There is nothing in the design to prevent any of these after impact injuries.


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