Ford is trying all sorts of crazy stuff out with the 2015 Mustang. Independent rear suspensions! Turbo fours! European sales! This approach extends to safety, too: they're trying something completely new with the passenger-side airbag.
Ford announced today that the new Mustang will be the first car to use a new type of passenger airbag they've recently developed, one that turns the glove box door into a knee-protecting airbag.
In the event of a crash, an inflatable bladder causes the door itself to propel toward the occupant's legs, all while a conventional airbag springs out of the dash to protect their heads. Here's how Ford says it works:
Unlike a traditional fabric airbag, the new system consists of a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder sandwiched between the inner and outer glove box door panels. After an applicable vehicle impact is detected by the crash sensor system and classified, an inflator fills the bladder, extending the entire glove box outer door panel toward the front passenger's legs. Once deployed, the outer door helps to provide cushioning in a manner similar to a traditional knee airbag.
Okay, so what's the benefit? Ford says it doesn't have as long to travel as a conventional airbag and can inflate at a lower pressure. The result is a design that is 65 percent lighter with an inflator 75 percent smaller than a typical system, with comparable protection. See? Weight savings, you jokers.
Check out the video below to see how it works, it's pretty clever.