Why nitrogen is used in car airbags

The airbag of the future - an intelligent impact cushion

Intelligent airbags

The aim of current research is to control the inflation of the impact bag individually for each person so precisely that the airbag is better suited to the accident situation than the driver's tailor-made suit. A delicate woman weighing 50 kg and a man who could box super heavyweight have different masses that are accelerated at different speeds in the event of an impact. The airbag should respond appropriately and fill up accordingly. There are already sensor mats in the seat that determine body weight. In the future, sensors in satellites that constantly scan the passenger compartment could take on this task. Whether the passenger is rummaging in the glove compartment at the moment of the accident or whether he has put his feet on the dashboard or whether there is a baby seat on the passenger seat - the information should be passed on to the airbag and regulate its inflation behavior. Accidents can place very high demands on an intelligent airbag. If the car rolls down the embankment after the first impact, overturns several times and is finally caught by an oak tree, the airbag of the future should inflate itself several times with the necessary volume. These complicated processes require high-performance sensors that can react in milliseconds and send out signals. For example, BMW has been installing a forerunner of this intelligent airbag in its vehicles since 1999. It's a two-tier system that responds as gently as possible and as sharply as necessary. For this purpose, instead of a single one, now two stages integrated in a gas generator are used, which are ignited with a large or small delay as required. These combination options make it possible to adapt the airbag to the severity of the accident as required.