Ford has submitted a patent software for an exterior airbag that would deploy from powering a vehicle’s grille for the duration of collisions.

Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) on Mar. 1, 2021, and posted Sept. 1, the application describes an airbag method identical to the ones previously mandated in the U.S. for vehicle interiors as a supplemental restraint program (SRS) to guard occupants.

Ford external airbag system patent image

Ford exterior airbag procedure patent graphic

Like regular airbags, the external airbag would use pyrotechnics to deploy and inflate, and would be brought on by sensors detecting a collision. In this scenario, nevertheless, the airbag would be mounted in the entrance-conclusion framework of a automobile, deploying from at the rear of the grille and masking the leading edge of the hood.

In the software, Ford said this program could be used in most types of non-public passenger vehicles—including cars, SUVs, crossovers, pickup trucks, and minivans—as very well as taxis or buses. It could also be employed in autonomous automobiles, according to Ford.

Ford external airbag system patent image

Ford exterior airbag program patent picture

Ford isn’t really the only corporation to experiment with exterior airbags. In 2019, German vehicle supplier ZF showed a prototype external airbag procedure for aspect-effect crashes. Created to supply an supplemental crumple zone to assistance absorb the electricity of impacts, the exterior airbag could lessen personal injury severity by 40%, ZF stated at the time.

Although ZF appeared fairly self-assured in its tech, professing software program and sensors could deploy the external airbag in just 100 milliseconds and have it fully inflated before call with any objects or other motor vehicles, the firm has not set it into output however. Potentially Ford will have improved luck with its ahead-deploying model of this tech.