STUTTGART, GERMANY - In addition to the PRE-SAFE crash detection system on the Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009 S400 Hybrid experimental safety vehicle and the car's "inflatable metal" structure, there's also a full range of bags and bolsters to protect passengers in the event of a crash.

Among the more interesting ones highlighted in the video below: the ESF's "braking bag."

The braking bag is exactly what it sounds like: a specially designed airbag that lives on the underside of the vehicle and deploys when the PRE-SAFE system determines that a collision is imminent. Located just forward of the front axle, the braking bag serves a couple of important functions--namely:

  • Providing friction to slow the vehicle even further.
  • Stabilizing the vehicle by providing more contact with the road.
  • Minimizing the car's "dive" as it brakes, which, according to Daimler, "improves geometrical compatibility with the other party in an accident."

According to Daimler, it'll be a while before the braking bag becomes available to the public, but from what we've seen in the video it's pretty promising technology indeed.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet