Ford announces inflatable seatbelts in 2010 models


See if you can figure out what differentiates the two dummies in the photo to the left. If you said that one of them has an inflatable seat belt, then you are correct! (Of course, that is not the only difference, but that is neither here nor there.)

These inflatable seatbelts are part of Ford’s push to make our automobiles a little more safer from accidents. They will be available starting next year, making their debut in the 2010 Ford Explorer. (I think that most car companies have already released their 2010 models by now, so this should be available now.)

Ford has said that they want the inflatable seat belts to be the standard for all of their cars, and hope that they will succeed in their design of reducing head, chest, and neck injuries. By the way, my source says that these new inflatable seatbelts are considered to be “more comfortable”, but it doesn’t say whether that is before or after they are inflated.

I’m guessing that these seat belts inflate after an accident, sort of like the airbag in the front seat. I wonder if they feel any different than normal seat belts, or can you tell right away when you use them. And what exactly pumps the air there, and how does it do it so fast?