New airbag study |
Sunday, June 30th 2019
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New airbag study

News from Moditech Rescue Solutions BV

In this month’s newsletter, we bring you information about the latest developments presented during the largest car safety conference. This conference took place in Eindhoven and Mercedes-Benz presented its latest study model “ESF 2019” there. This vehicle is fitted with numerous innovative concepts for, among other things, autonomous driving, as well as active and passive safety systems. Further, we bring you information about the Ebusco 2.2, which has been added to our database, and about the collaboration we have commenced with the German Association of Car Recovery Companies (in German: Verband der Bergungs- und Abschleppunternehmen e.V. (VBA)), together with whom we will provide recovery companies with vehicle information for towers through our Crash Recovery System Road Assist Edition.

More on these topics in this month’s newsletter!


In the near future, “partial” autonomous driving in various forms will become more and more common in our vehicles. Due to autonomous driving, we will participate less actively in driving cars. Controls such as a steering wheel and pedals will consequently become less prominent. As a result, the dashboard will get a different function. We have already seen the first evidence of this with the passenger airbag in the roof of the Opel Combo / Peugeot Rifter / Citroen Berlingo.  In the ESF 2019, this has resulted in a driver’s airbag situated in the dashboard rather than in the steering wheel. After activation, the airbag unfolds over the steering wheel.

Illustration 1: dashboard airbag in ESF 2019


Another development is the side airbag on both sides of the front seats. In the case of a sideways collision, the wing-shaped airbags unfold from both the side supports of the backrest. The individual is therefore not only protected on the side of the impact, but also against the impact of the individual sitting next to them (see illustration 2). Preventing individuals sitting next to each other colliding is achieved by some manufacturers by means of the so-called central airbag, such as is the case in the Audi A8.

Illustration 2: new experimental type of side airbags


In the ESF 2019, Mercedes-Benz also demonstrates a frontal airbag for backseat passengers. The airbag unfolds out of the backrest of the front seat and has an innovative tubular design to inflate and position the airbag. The space between the bars is flexible and captures the ambient air such that this can be held if a passenger needs to be cushioned in an accident (see illustration 3). The construction of this airbag is different from that of a conventional airbag because passengers can vary a great deal in height and build.

Illustration 3: frontal passenger airbag


Besides the car manufacturers, prominent suppliers were also present to demonstrate their latest developments. One of those suppliers was ZF, a German manufacturer of car components. They demonstrated their newest “pre-crash system” with a side airbag on the outside of the car. This system consists of a network of lidar and radar cameras which monitor the surroundings of the car in combination with a side airbag positioned in the car door sill. If an unavoidable collision is detected, the airbag rapidly unfolds outwards and covers the lower part of the doors and the B pillar. Depending on the vehicle model, this airbag has a volume of 280 to 400 litres, which is 5 to 8 times more than a driver’s airbag. Illustration 4 shows the unfolding and functioning of this side airbag.
Illustration 4: ZF pre-crash system


One or more novelties will be adopted in production vehicles over time. These new airbags pose a new challenge for first responders. As a result, existing procedures or products such as, for example, an airbag cover will not always provide a solution in the future.  It goes without saying that we will keep you informed of all developments and let you know as soon as new types of airbags are taken into production.


In the database update of 28 June, we have added the new 2 and 3 doors Ebusco 2.2 electric bus. At present, these buses are only in use in Dordrecht, with Groningen, Drenthe, Utrecht, Munich, Warburgkreis and Bocholt following later this year. The bus has 12 battery packs of which 6 are in the “motor compartment” at the back and 6 as usual on the front of the roof of the bus. The battery packs are of the Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4) type and combined supply 362 kWh of energy. Near the battery packs on the roof is also the pantograph for charging. Charging is also possible by means of a charging plug at the back of the bus (see illustration).

ATTENTION: The bus can be deactivated in various ways. Besides switching off the ignition, one of the two emergency switches can be used. The bus can then be made completely powerless by using the 24-volt main power switch in the engine compartment. Ensure that your system is up to date so that your Crash Recovery System has this latest information available!


We are happy to inform you that Moditech has entered into a partnership with the German Association of Car Recovery Companies (in German: Verband der Bergungs- und Abschleppunternehmen e.V. (VBA)) to provide recovery and towing services in Germany with current vehicle information for safe recovery and towing of modern vehicles. Members of the VBA can purchase the Crash Recovery System Road Assist Edition for a reduced price ( Together with the VBA and their members, we will exchange information from practice to enrich the Crash Recovery System Road Assist Edition, if desired. More information: