TORONTO—The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has awarded Ford’s rear inflatable seat belt the best new technology award for 2011.
The belt works like a standard seat belt in every day use, but in a crash, can spread impact forces across more than five times the area than conventional seat belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion.
The vehicle’s crash sensing system determines when the inflatable belt should deploy.
Ford launched the new belts in its 2011 Explorer.
The technology was developed in by Ford’s research and engineering division in the U.S.
Srini Sundararajan, technical leader in research and advanced engineering, said it took 10 years to develop. Ford will migrate the technology across different platforms in the coming years, he said.