Bigger Than Yours – Check Out the World’s Only Five-Row Side-Curtain Airbag

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The new Transit van is a bit on the big side, so when it comes to safety it also has to go big lengths. We’re talking literal as Ford has introduced the world’s only five-row side-curtain airbag.

It is part of the Ford Safety Canopy System for side-impacts and rollover crashes and we’ll take a look into how it works and some more details on possibly the longest airbag in automotive history.

So, why does the Ford Transit need an airbag that is 15-feet long and three-feet tall? In the event of a rollover or side-impact crash, this massive airbag opens up in just a fraction of a second to provide head and neck protection.

You know, because you and the possible 14 other people need those things to live. At 15-feet long and three-feet tall, the airbag is filled with 120-liters of gas. Your Fusion, on the other hand, has a side-curtain airbag that is 6.8-feet long and 2-feet tall and only has a volume of 42-liters.

It’s pretty smart, too. When the Transit’s Safety Canopy System detects a crash, the auto industry’s largest inflators fill the entire bag with the stored gas in a pattern to control not only the speed of deployment, but how much cushion it provides for the entire length of the bag.

“This airbag technology is unique in its purpose, which is to help provide protection across five rows of passengers in a cabin that is more spacious than the more traditional light-duty vehicle,” said Norbert Kagerer, vice president, Occupant Safety Systems Engineering for TRW Automotive.

TRW Automotive designs airbags for the Ford Transit and other vehicles from Ford. “The stringent customer and industry regulatory requirements for airbags called for developing a system that provides appropriate occupant protection in a smart package.”

This amazingly large airbag is just part of the Transit’s safety systems. It will also feature standard front airbags, three-point seat belts for all seats, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and SOS Post-Crash Alert System; except, they won’t be larger.

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Justin Banner is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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