What a Smart Airbag is

January 27, 2012

A smart airbag is one that features a sensitive computer that monitors the size and position of the occupant of the seat in which the airbag will deploy. The reason for the development of this particular type of advanced airbag system is that standard airbags can actually cause more injury than they prevent if they deploy in front of small children or dimunitive adults. These specialized airbag modules aim to correct that by sensing how hard the airbag will need to deploy.

Sensor System

The primary component of a smart airbag that distinguishes it from a standard airbag is the sensor system. This system is designed to measure the weight and seating position of any passenger in the vehicle. It also notes whether or not the seat belt is fastened. Then, when the vehicle collides, such that the airbag will need to deploy, the airbag computer makes a spontaneous decision as to how hard the airbag will shoot out of its compartment. The smaller the person riding in the seat, the gentler the airbag deployment will be.

Issues and Concerns

Unfortunately, smart airbags have proven to be better in theory than in practice. These airbags have shown to be very easy to fool, and they oftentimes make mistakes. Still, having the smart airbag capability is better than having a standard airbag in these situations, and most cars feature smart airbags at this point in time.

For more information about smart airbags and how they function, consult with a dealer or a mechanic in your area with any additional questions.

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