ELESYS North America Inc. has added a low risk deployment (LRD) airbag suppression system to its SeatSentry product line for compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's FMVSS-208 static suppression for advanced airbag systems.
Susan McCarthy, ELYSYS’ general manager of sales and marketing, said the LRD system is based on electric-field imaging technology, in which a low-level electric signal (e-field) is sent to single-layer flexible sensors in a seat cushion and/or seat back. Because the human body can conduct electricity, the e-field can sense the presence, position and motion of a body and measure the body mass by the level of interference it causes within the e-field. When a human body is detected, a signal is sent to the airbag's ECU to suppress or enable airbag deployment in accordance with FMVSS-208.
McCarthy described the LRD as “a lower-cost airbag strategy that equals the robust system capabilities of a full suppression system.” She said the system will allow OEMs to meet the mitigated injury requirements in FMVSS-208 for low risk deployment, as well as contribute to cost savings.
“The system is not dependent on belt tension sensors, and it has immunity to child seat changes and seat structural changes, which can be a problem for other systems," she said.