Ford has recently filed a patent for what it calls a “vehicle seat bottom with independently deployable devices.” Strictly, speaking, this is a thigh support that is coupled with “deployable devices” which can automatically inflate during a collision, thus minimizing its impact. This would be like an inbuilt airbag in the bottom of the front seats to protect occupants if there is an accident.
In the case of a headon collision, the impact of the crash can push people down in their seats so hard that the lower portion of their seatbelts ride up over their stomach, thus causing severe injuries to the abdomen.
Ford’s patent covers two adjustable thigh supports on the lower seat that can enhance the comfort of the ride and help with seat adjustment during normal travel. In case of an accident, the “deployable devices” can inflate independently, raising the thigh supports. Depending on the position of the thigh supports, the force of the inflators would vary. The aim of using these thigh supports is that when fully deployed, they would help cushion the impact of a crash and thus depending on the position of the thigh supports, but the idea is that the fully-deployed supports would help absorb the force of the impact on passengers, while reducing or eliminating the chances of abdominal injuries during a collision.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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