Mercedes-Benz Developing 'Braking Bag' Safety Device

Mercedes Benz ESF 2009 Prototype Experimental Safety Vehicle

Last week, TheCarConnection mentioned some of the high-tech safety features of the Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009 S400 Hybrid experimental safety vehicle. But in addition to the PRE-SAFE crash detection system and the car's intriguing "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".

Click here for VIDEO of the "braking bag" in action

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, in Daimler's words, "improves geometrical compatibility with the other party in an accident." (In other words, you'll take a hit on par with the other vehicle, and you won't wedge under, both of which can minimize injury to you and your car.)

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.

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