Sleeping In? Volvo is Now Developing Safety Blankets to Act as Seat Belts
Let’s face it: no matter how good they are, seat belts can’t protect you and your passengers when you’re lying down inside your vehicle. And it doesn’t matter if you’re using Volvo’s three-point seat belt that it invented in 1959. When it comes to the nitty-gritty, seat belts become totally useless when you’re lying down.
Volvo knows this, which is why the “obsessive-compulsive in vehicle safety” company is taking steps to solve this problem once and for all. Enter their Safety Restraint Blanket. Its goal is to include this feature in its 360c concept car and eventually include it in all the autonomous vehicles it will produce in the future.
According to Volvo’s Senior Technical Expert Lotta Jakobson, the company wants to create a personalized blanket that will have straps on the hard, important parts of the body–like the hip/pelvis area and the upper torso. These straps would automatically tighten around the areas like a seat belt once a collision takes place.
The blanket works in two ways: first, to keep the passenger comfortable; and second, to provide strong protection during a crash. Its one edge over all the typical seat belts today is that it makes for better safety, because it covers the entire body when a collision takes place.
“We combined the design and comfort of the blanket–so you can move around and enjoy your sleep–with safety straps, should you be in a crash. The safety team expects the blanket to work a bit like a human-sized seat belt, but one that’s loose enough for you to roll around as you sleep,” said Malin Ekholm, Volvo’s Safety Center Vice President.
The technology is still being developed, so let’s stay tuned what happens next. Hopefully, we’d still be alive by then.