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TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has recently begun producing airbags for its Citroen C4 Cactus that are located in the roof of the vehicle, rather than the dashboard. The company believes the new design will save space and provide better aesthetics, ergonomics, and functionality than airbags mounted in instrument panels.
Many automobile companies are seeking designs with more space in the instrument panel for multimedia technology or storage, or want to create more open environments. TRW believes their Inflatable Restraint System will allow automobile designers to achieve these goals. TRW says the roof airbags provide excellent performance.
The airbags consist of a cushion, gas diffusion channel, and gas generator located within a housing that is fixed onto or below the headlining above the windshield. When the airbag deploys, it unfolds along the windshield in front of the driver or passenger, rather than towards the occupant. This enables the airbag to restrain riders of a variety of shapes and sizes.
The new roof airbags are easy to assemble and can be standardized, since some of the components are common to all of TRW’s airbags. The roof airbag also improves development efficiency. Since the airbag is not located inside the instrument panel, manufacturers do not need to test a door that opens when the airbag deploys. This will reduce the development costs of the dashboard.
TRW Automotive Holdings is headquartered in Michigan and provides braking, steering, suspension, and occupant safety systems, as well as electronics, engine components, fastening systems, and replacement parts and services.