|Honda Develops Side Curtain Airbag|
|Tokyo, August 8, 2002 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that it has developed a new, rapidly deploying side curtain airbag that protects vehicle occupants with a broad range of physiques, from children to adults, from head and neck injuries in the event of a side collision. The side curtain airbag deploys over a wide area to protect both front and rear seat occupants, especially from head impacts to the center pillar. The first Honda to be equipped with the new airbags will be the new Accord, available this fall.
In order to deploy the airbag to cover almost the entire side window surface instantaneously, the airbag is fitted with a low-temperature gas (compressed helium) inflator that achieves a deployment speed of approximately 0.015sec. This rapid deployment speed has allowed the bag to be made thicker for more effective impact absorption, reducing the shock to the head area at time of impact to 1/6 that of a crash with no airbags. This results in a significantly reduced HIC (Head Injury Criteria) value of 1,000 (Pole impact testing).
The number of impact sensors has been increased from three (located in the middle of the vehicle and beside the left and right front seat occupants) to five, with two more sensors positioned next to the rear seat occupants. This permits optimum control over the inflation timing of the side curtain airbag and side airbags, depending on the form of side impact involved.
Honda first began basic airbag research in 1971. In 1987, they were the first Japanese auto maker to introduce a driver-side SRS airbag system, followed by the first passenger-side SRS airbag in a Japanese car in 1990. Determined that a safety device designed to protect people should never be the cause of injury, Honda independently developed its own airbag technology, including installation positioning, inflator characteristics, bag folding and storage, and various other features. In 1998, the same thinking was further applied to Honda's i-SRS system, featuring an inflator with a two-stage deployment system depending on the size of the impact, and an i-side airbag with an occupant posture detection sensor that combined improved occupant protection with reduced risk of collateral injury --- both world firsts. The new side curtain airbag is the latest product of Honda's airbag philosophy, developed to effectively protect the heads and necks of occupants with a variety of physiques in a variety of positions in the event of a side collision, without causing any collateral injury.