The next high-end range of Mercedes vehicles will be equipped with a new airbag system integrated in the rear seat belts. The Beltbag doesn’t replace belt tensioners, but reduces the risk of physical injuries to passengers in case of impact, as the air cushion distributes the force generated by a strong deceleration on a larger area: Mercedes engineers have designed an inflatable strap capable of expanding up to three times in comparison to a standard seat belt. This pioneer airbag system has been created for the safety of rear passengers only, because it would interfere with the front airbags.
Mercedes is planning to launch the Beltbag on markets outside Europe first, where the Three-pointed-star manufacturer still covers a peculiar representative role and where the rear seats are occupied 30 percent more than in Europe or the U.S. The Beltbag was first unveiled as an experimental safety system on the 2009 ESF Concept. It will be introduced on the new S-Class range.