Strapless seat belts announced at Seoul Motor Show
At the Seoul 2013 motor show over the weekend, Korean technology developer KMC announced they were in the midst of developing a new ‘strapless seat belt system’ that could be seen in vehicles as soon as 2015.
The system works by using “Safety Foam”. The foam is released upon impact and expands around the driver and front passenger, keeping them in a solid, safe position and fixed to their seats.
KMC Director Kwon Hyun-jun “The safety foam system eliminates the conscious effort required by drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts. It also limits any risk of injuries caused by airbags.”
A 2012 survey in the UK showed that 5% of people don’t wear seat belts. This statistic is thought to be much higher across South East Asia where seat belt legislation is in place, but often ignored.
KMC believe that the “Safety Foam” system will reduce the need to change peoples attitudes towards seat belt wearing as the foam isn’t optional and is there when needed.
This is not the first time that this sort of product has been developed for safety purposes. In the 1960’s ‘General Electric’ proposed a similar idea that enables an emergency “bail-out” system capable of bringing a single astronaut safely down from Earth orbit to the planet’s surface encased in a similar polyurethane foam.
The Safety Foam is thought to be on show and demonstrated at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show before it is put into production at a select few Korean vehicle manufacturers in June 2014.
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This technology is also nicely demonstrated in the Hollywood Blockbuster of the nineties, “Demolition Man” staring a heavily roided up Sylvester Stalone.