NEWS: Ford Patents External Airbag System

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Ford dives deeper into rollover accident protection, and patents an external, roof rack-mounted airbag system.

Vehicle occupant safety has come a very long way in recent years. Despite steadily making strides since the invention of the automobile, active and passive safety has been drastically improved by recent developments in video, radar, and airbag technology.

Ford has been at the forefront of this safety revolution, often landing ‘Top Safety Pick’ awards by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on several of their models, including the best-selling F-150. Now, the automaker has decided that it’s time to look into future technologies, or at least we can deduct so from their recent filings with the United States Patent Office.


According to the documents shown, Ford actually filed for this patent in October of 2015, but it wasn’t published in the office’s own publication until April 20, 2017. The applicant is labeled as Ford Global Technologies, LLC, and the document shows similar information to the one filed for the electric truck bed.

Modern airbags, especially side curtain airbags do an incredible job at sheltering occupants from the dangers of rollover accidents. Even so, rollover accidents and frontal offset accidents are amongst the deadliest types of collisions according to the IIHS. The roof rack-mounted external airbag could greatly reduced the negative effects of a vehicle rollover. For a short summary on the system itself, refer to the photo above.

Great job, Ford!

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Jerry Perez is a regular contributor to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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