In the case of a self-driving car, the requirements for a seatbelt are likely to be different from those for a conventional car. The self-driving car is meant to serve as a place for relaxation and will not need a driver. Volvo’s 360c concept car is meant to be a self-driving car and has no steering wheel, pedals or even a traditional dashboard. In line with this strategy, the company has come up with a seatbelt that is just right for the vehicle.
The car is meant to be one that is geared towards serving as either a workspace or a place for relaxation. Volvo has a strong reputation for safety and reliability and thus realized that conventional seat-belts and SRS airbags were not adequate for an autonomous vehicle. This is why Volvo came up with the idea of a Safety Blanket that could be used instead of seatbelts.
Volvo’s engineering team began by closely examining different reclinable positions (with the seatbelt) and tried to visualize what would be needed if a passenger wanted to recline his chair and sleep or even roll over. The Safety Blanket is quite similar to a seatbelt in that it can effectively restrain a passenger at the moment of impact, but the blanket is far better than a seatbelt for a passenger in an autonomous vehicle as it covers the entire body. It comprises restraints that would tighten around the passenger’s shoulders and hip areas in the event of a collision or hard braking.
Commenting on the Safety Blanket, Lotta Jakobsson, senior technical expert at Volvo said that the idea is to choose a personalized blanket for the needs of the passengers and to wear it for their comfort and coziness. It will then provide protection during a crash. Jakobsson said the challenge was to ensure that the Safety Blanket interacts with the passenger as passengers are of different sizes, and might sleep differently.
The Safety Restraint Blanket is still under development, but in view of the fact that autonomous vehicles are very much on the horizon, it won’t be long before a more detailed, tested, and validated version of this will begin being implemented. “You need to figure out how you won’t be injured by things,” Jakobsson said. “It’s definitely keeping us busy.”
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.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.