CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
advanced (smart) restraint systems
Traditional safety belts and air bags are set up to provide protection for a wide range of occupants and conditions by deploying in a fixed manner. Advanced restraint systems consider variables such as occupant weight, seating position, safety-belt usage, and vehicle deceleration to control belt forces and deploy the air bag optimally. Many new air-bag systems are designed to not deploy into unoccupied seating positions, such as when a child seat is installed or when an occupant is out of the normal seating position and too close to the air bag.
A combination of sensors provides the computer with information about occupant position, occupant weight, and seat track position. Accelerometers provide information about the collision. The computer uses this information to decide which restraints should be deployed and in what manner. Variable deployment air-bag actuators allow air bags to fill at different speeds and to different volumes.
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