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Ford Takes the Backseat for Safety

airbagWe’re all used to airbag and seatbelt routines in the front seats of our cars, but what about the jumping kids and fragile elderly who sit in the rear seat? Today, even though no law requires it, Ford announced a rear seat safety belt that’s inflatable. Designed to protect backseat passengers, with special attention to kids and the elderly, the seatbelt uses a special gas compression technology that expands on impact.

Taken alone, the seatbelt is interesting. Taken together with other safety and technology enhancements that Ford’s been revealing, it’s clear that they’re gunning to be the new Volvo. High marks for safety in a reasonably priced car.

Recently, the company announced a crash avoidance system that uses radar to look behind and in front of you, alerting you about unseen traffic. Adaptive Cruise Control will automatically slow down your cruise control when a slower object is in front of you. MyKey, a personal data system that lets you manage information for each driver, enables you to set limits for your kids on driving speed, for example.

The new seatbelts will be available in Ford Explorers beginning next year; the other features will be part of the Taurus line (see blog on Taurus).
Watch my movie of the Ford crashless crash simulator and the new rear seatbelts.