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automakers

New Air Bag Technology Increases Driver Safety Inside The Vehicle

In an accident it is the airbag that we rely on to save our lives.

Over the decades automakers have developed airbags to mitigate injuries from frontal impacts as well as those from the side, including rollovers, but until recently manufacturers and parts suppliers have not addressed the dangers associated with occupants suffering injury through contact with one another or parts of a vehicle’s interior during a crash. GM was the first to announce center-mounted airbags starting in 2013, and Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have been testing similar systems.

That could change soon as regulatory agencies are giving this technology a second look.

“We are experiencing rising interest in this new airbag technology and Euro NCAP is currently assessing new side impact test protocols for 2018 and beyond,” said Dirk Schultz, global engineering director, ZF TRW Inflatable Restraints Systems.  “If implemented, we believe that many new vehicles could require far-side airbag modules.”

German supplier ZF TRW has developed a new center airbag design aimed at protecting occupants in “far-side” and “near-side” crashes, in which the vehicle sustains an impact from the side and occupants hit each other, even if side-impact airbags deploy as designed.

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Auto Sales Reach a Record High this Month

Thanks to the special year-end deals that carmakers and dealerships are pushing, auto sales have already hit the highest level of the year. This is according to Edmunds.com.

The online auto research firm estimates the pace of sales for the month will be 18.3 million vehicles. That would be the highest monthly sales pace in 2015. It would also mark three straight months where the sales rate topped 18 million vehicles, something that has never happened in the U.S..

“Since 2010, November has delivered one of the three best SAARs in each year, and last year, Thanksgiving weekend accounted for twice as many sales as any other weekend in November. We expect to see both trends continue this year,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com.

The strong pace of sales has been widely anticipated due to a combination of factors including low unemployment, strong consumer confidence and cheap financing. But November sales are getting an extra boost from year-end promotions offering buyers big discounts and/or low monthly payments.

Read more here.