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GM Files Patent for Exterior Airbag Design

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GM's proposed safety system would cushion the impact pedestrians experience during a collision

Pedestrian Crossing the Road

Might those outside your vehicle soon have a set of airbags too?

Modern automobiles are constantly adding new safety features and technologies that keep the safety of pedestrians in mind. Nevertheless, those inside the vehicle will almost always be safer in the occurrence of a pedestrian collision, thanks to an extensive suite of airbags.

General Motors is reportedly working on a technology that would improve the safety of pedestrians even more: exterior airbags. The automaker seems to be getting pretty far on the project, as GM just filed a patent for the exterior airbag technology with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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According to figures featured in the patent application, the exterior airbags will be located in front of the door and below the vehicle’s hood. The exact location is listed as residing near the vehicle’s A-Pillar region.

GM states that the exterior airbags are designed to protect pedestrians from impact near the front of the vehicle’s structure. The intent is to cushion the blow pedestrians experience when they are struck by an oncoming car.

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Airbags require a lot of complicated electronics, which can easily be damaged by water. To address this issue, GM has implemented a water diversion system for its exterior airbag design.

Water won’t be the only factor potentially complicating the implementation of airbags on the exterior of the vehicle. The system will also have to deal with extreme temperatures and unusual weather phenomenon.

2018 Buick Regal Active-Hood Pedestrian Safety System

Safety systems like the Regal’s Active Hood Technology are already paving the way toward safer roads for pedestrians

GM has worked on a number of recent pedestrian safety systems for its vehicles. The new Buick Regal models are set to include the automaker’s Active Hood Technology, designed to reduce pedestrian fatalities.

If you would like to explore the exterior airbag patent for yourself, then you can do so here, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

News Source: GM Authority