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Nearly a decade ago, airbag systems were mainly deployed in the luxury segment vehicles. Curtain airbags are placed at the front pillars, roof sides, and the rear pillars. It deploys simultaneously with the side airbag to protect the driver’s or passenger’s head, and it minimizes injury in the event of a side collision.
In the current day, airbags are nearly ubiquitous in automobiles. A variety of airbags are used to reduce injuries caused by automobile accidents. Road automobile accidents are reduced when various types of airbags are used. An airbag is used to protect against serious injuries caused by a car accident. In the case of an accident, the airbag will instantly inflate in less than a second.
The majority of airbags can only be utilised once. Curtain airbags deploy in side impact incidents, including as T-bone collisions or collisions with trees and poles. They are deployed from the top of the door rails above the side window and provide cushioning between the driver and passengers. For many years, the side curtain airbag has received superior safety ratings in passenger vehicles and minivans.
However, manufacturers have recently discovered innovative ways to modify side curtain technology expressly for specialised uses, particularly in high-risk cars. Convertible and SUV drivers, for example, now benefit from side curtain protection and rollover-specific security. Curtain airbags can also be quite useful as subcompacts become more popular.
Side curtain airbags are designed to complement traditional airbag systems to create safer vehicles all around. They’re currently optional in the United States, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that all new vehicles must include them to meet more stringent side impact safety standards by 2013.
The rising concerns of consumers about safety, the increasing pressure from regulatory bodies and due to the intense competition in the market. Vehicle manufacturers have been offering a greater number of airbags in cars, due to which the usage of airbags has jumped up to three times in the last three to four years.
Almost every new car that has been launched in the last couple of years has at least one airbag (driver side) while some also have curtain airbags, especially in the developing countries. Therefore, curtain airbags have been majorly deployed in SUVs and Vans compared to other vehicle types.
To know more about Global Automotive Airbag Market, read our report
Side-impact airbags, often known as curtain airbags, are an important safety element that protects the driver and passengers in the case of a collision. Curtain airbags assist shield occupants from the car frame and windows during a side impact collision or if the car rolls since they deploy between the top and bottom of any side door windows. These curtain airbags assist to minimise auto accident-related deaths by up to 40% by acting as a cushion between passengers’ heads and the vehicle’s structure.
Vehicle makers have increased the number of airbags available in vehicles, resulting in a threefold increase in airbag usage in the previous three to four years. Almost every new automobile introduced in the previous several years has at least one airbag (driver side), with some additionally having curtain airbags, particularly in poorer nations.
Airbag systems were mostly used in premium automobiles almost a decade ago. The situation has now completely altered as a result of increased regulatory pressure, severe market rivalry, and rising consumer worries about safety. These forces amplify the long-standing relevance of automobiles.
In comparison to other vehicle types, curtain airbags have been widely used in SUVs and vans. Curtain airbags, on the other hand, are anticipated to witness development in the market analysed over the forecast period, owing to their increasing acceptance in mini-cars to heavy-duty trucks in the future years, owing to rising safety requirements across all vehicle types.
All occupants must have a specific degree of head and torso protection, according to federal regulations on side-impact protection. While it does not expressly need side airbags, they are generally used to provide the necessary safety. Similarly, increased public awareness and technical advances are likely to drive demand for curtain airbags.
The stringent rules and regulations put in place by governments across the globe is expected to raise the growth of the airbag market. For instance, in the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established several regulations for all of the vehicles to incorporate curtain as well as side airbags.
Similarly, the Indian Government has also imposed rules to promote road safety by incorporating front airbags in vehicles from April 2021. The government of India has also proposed a new rule for the standardization of minimum 6 airbags in all passenger vehicles.
In India, the number of cars that have incorporated a minimum of 6 airbags are approximately 77 including all the model variants with add-on features. The best selling cars with 6 airbags are the Kia Seltos, Hyundai i20, Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Venue and the Tata Harrier.
There are 7 airbags in mid-priced models like the Mahindra XUV300 and Toyota Yaris.
Hyundai i20 is the cheapest car to have 6 airbags and is also the top selling brand with an INR 6.91 to INR 11.40.
Almost all the best selling vehicles that are operated in the European Union have a minimum of 6 airbags including curtain airbags. The Renault Clio incorporates 6 airbags with side curtain airbags, as well as the Volkswagen Tiguan incorporates curtain airbag system along with knee airbag, front side impact airbags and driver with front passenger airbag deactivation switch. The Renault Captur also incorporates a minimum 6 airbag safety system with curtain airbags with driver and front passenger front and head airbag.
Europe is the largest market for curtain airbags and is expected to register a CAGR of over X% during the forecast period. With the growing consumer acceptance, advancement in technology, and lower prices, the market for curtain airbags has been witnessing a boost of growth in the region.
Germany is the automotive hub in Europe, and it is a strategically important market for curtain airbags. Germany boasts of 41 automotive assembly plants, and thus, experiences augmented demand for curtain airbags. Other key contributors to the European market are France, UK, Spain, and Italy.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for automotive curtain airbags and stores potential growth opportunities for market expansion. In the emerging economies, such as China and India, there has been encouraging signs for OEMs to introduce curtain airbags in high-end cars. The high adoption rate of passive safety systems and the rapid growth of the automotive industry support the growth of the market studied in China.
If a collision happens, sensors on the vehicle’s exterior relay messages to the airbag module. If the sensors along the side of your car are impacted, an alarm is sent, and the curtain airbags activate. Curtain airbags inflate in a fraction of a second, shielding passengers’ heads, shoulders, and sides from the impact’s power.
The situation has now completely altered as a result of increased regulatory pressure, severe market rivalry, and rising consumer worries about safety. These pressures amplify the long-standing importance for automakers to incorporate an airbag system in every vehicle, regardless of market sector.
The Airbags have been integrated with the sensor requirements of advanced technologies which have been focused on IoT and Smart automation technologies. These are made in such a manner that a reduced collision effects wherein there is a sensor that receives information from an acceleration meter called an accelerometer that is built into a microchip.
Inside the airbag’s inflation system, it contains sodium azide and potassium nitrate, when the two react it creates nitrogen gas. The blast of hot nitrogen gas creates the inflation of the airbag.
The most recent innovation has been in the placement of the airbag system within the requirements of the car collision system analysis. The centre side airbag is the improvisation made wherein , The centre side airbag is mounted on the right side of the driver’s seat and inflates in the event of a side impact.
At this time, the driver’s upper body movement is suppressed to prevent secondary accidents such as colliding with the interior materials or hitting the head with the passenger. In addition, it prevents neck injury from strong side collisions, which greatly reduces damages.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several industries to roll back their production and manufacturing activities due to the lockdowns and pandemic protocols put in place by governments across the world. The supply chain operations have been disrupted as raw materials and most importantly electronic semiconductors for the automotive industry have been in backlog due to the lockdowns in China and Taiwan.
The outbreak of COVID-19 had a negative impact on the sale of passenger vehicles due to the halt in production and globe lockdown during the second quarter of the year 2020. However, as the countries started to open and resume activities, the automotive industry recovered as the demand for vehicles increased and production also increased.
With the rise in the sales of vehicles incorporating the rules and regulations imposed by the transport ministries of different countries, automakers are increasing the incorporation of airbags in vehicles to improve the safety of passengers. Luxury brands that manufacture vehicles with the rising concerns about the environment have seen a rise in demand for electric vehicles which in turn increase the incorporation and demand for new airbag technology.
Airbag systems usually consist of multiple sensors, a control module and one airbag. The sensors are placed in positions that are possible to be compromised in the event of an accident, information from accelerometers, wheel speed sensors and different sources can also be monitored by the airbag control unit.
If particular conditions are detected, the control unit is capable of activating the airbags. Producers must stay abreast of the rising technology and sensor-based intelligence in automobiles in order to maintain their position.
Toyota Corporation has made itself into the innovation line of development for the curtain airbags requirements in the market. The SRS based development has been focused by the organisation to have better mobility solutions into the market. The airbag is deployed in such a manner that the impact to the head would be minimised in all respects.
The unique airbag deploys as a curtain-like barrier from the roof line over the rear window. The airbag, in conjunction with the headrests, helps to lessen the severity of injuries by minimising impact to the head from a crashing vehicle or components of the struck vehicle. Its usage in the upcoming “iQ” ultra-compact four-seater is projected to roughly quadruple the car’s rear passenger head protection performance.
ZF Corporation has been involved in development of varied levels of side and curtain airbags which are focused upon better enhancement. The additional development has been focussed on the far side-based airbag development.
The much larger far-side airbag is integrated in the driver’s seat in the same way as a side airbag is. In the case of a head-on collision, the airbag control unit has the ability to activate the far-side airbag quickly after the normal side airbag.
The far-side airbag is either strapped to the seat frame or supported by the centre console to provide stability. It can also be activated if there is a collision on the driver’s side. This is because lateral acceleration can cause two automobile occupants to crash with each other if there are individuals seated in both of the car’s front seats. In this case, the far-side airbag can assist in preventing this precise situation.
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