Internal airbags are a standard safety feature in today’s cars, but a German auto supplier is hoping to export their benefits to the exterior of vehicles as well. ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s external vehicle airbags look and function exactly as you’d expect them to – after sensing the approach of a collision event, the bags deploy in milliseconds to cushion the blow. They boast a 40% reduction in injury levels, but after ten years in development, ZF’s system still faces significant hurdles before ever being brought to the consumer market. Convincing auto manufacturers to incorporate their product into newly-built vehicles and overcoming regulatory issues are the primary obstacles to overcome, but ZF is confident that the advantages external airbags would provide to consumers will win the day for their product.
The primary advantage of external vehicle airbags is the disbursement of impact forces. Rather than concentrating the energy of a crash