Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a selectively extendable seat airbag that could be used in future Ford vehicles, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on December 14th, 2022, published on December 26th, 2023, and assigned serial number 11851020.
The Ford Authority Take
Ford has filed quite a few airbag-related patents over the years, a list that most recently includes ideas for a seatback-mounted overhead airbag, a seatback supported airbag system, a reclined vehicle occupant airbag, an airbag surrounding seatback, and selectively inflatable side airbags, to name just a few. Now, this new Ford patent filing keeps that trend going by introducing yet another airbag-related idea, this time, one that builds upon the previously-mentioned selectively inflatable side airbags and gives them a slightly different method of operation.
As such, the concept here is basically the same – people come in all different shapes and sizes, and as such, airbags should be able to deploy in a way that best protects a specific person. This particular system would accomplish that by being able to determine whether or not an occupant is in the seat, for starters, and then identify the size/height of that person. From there, in the event of a crash, the side chambers located in the airbag assembly would inflate selectively.
In these patent drawings, we get a good sense of how such a system might work via a center console-mounted airbag. Here, we can see that the side chambers inflate in a position that protects the driver’s head, with the airbag extending high enough so that the upper portion lines up perfectly with that part of the person, no matter how short or tall they might be. It’s certainly an interesting idea, and one that could very well wind up being used in future Ford vehicles, if it does indeed come to fruition.