The technology centers around an inflatable plastic bladder that is directly integrated into the glove box door, sandwiched between the inner and outer door panels. When an accident is detected, the bladder inflates and extends the entire outer door toward the passenger’s legs to provide cushioning.
The new system is said to be 65 percent lighter and 75 percent smaller than traditional knee-airbag designs, without compromising passenger protection. It also eliminates the need for a seam or dedicated airbag cover, allowing designers to move the dashboard closer to the windshield for a ‘roomier’ cabin.
The new Mustang features additional crash sensors and eight airbags, doubling the airbag count of the current model. Both the fastback and convertible include driver and passenger front and seat-mounted side airbags, along with a driver knee airbag, while the convertible adds a seat-mounted head airbag on each side. Anchor-side seatbelt pretensioners are also new, helping keep occupants in a more secure position in the event of a crash.
The company suggests the bladder in the new knee-airbag technology will likely be utilized to place additional protection systems throughout upcoming vehicle interiors.