Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a pillar-supported airbag, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on August 26th, 2020, published on November 8th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11491948.
The Ford Authority Take
Of the many patents it has filed in recent months, a large number of Ford’s filings consist of airbag-related patents. That includes one for a seat bottom-mounted airbag system, a seat bottom mounted airbag that protects pets, a side airbag with adaptive positioning, a movable roof supported airbag system, an instrument panel mounted driver airbag, a full seatback airbag system, a seatback supported airbag system, a center console airbag system, and a seatback-mounted overhead airbag. Now, that trend continues with this new Ford patent filing outlining an idea for a pillar-supported airbag.
This new Ford patent follows the same general theme as its predecessors in that it explores a new type of airbag – this time, one that’s mounted in the pillar, yet when deployed, would surround the entire driver/passenger sitting within the vehicle. There are “halos” positioned in the floor and the roof of the vehicle surrounding each seat, which are supported by the vehicle’s pillars, that could deploy the massive airbags in the event of an imminent accident.
As has been the case with some recent airbag patents from Ford, this one is also aimed at autonomous vehicles. As automakers work to create full self-driving vehicles that feature seats that can be turned around in different directions, traditional dash- or steering-wheel mounted airbags aren’t viable, which necessitates changes in that regard. In that case, being completely surrounded by a giant airbag seems to be a good solution for that particular problem.