The German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has been coming out with safety features of the future that could become a commodity for mainstream vehicles someday. Back in 1974, Mercedes-Benz built its very first ESV (Experimental Safety Vehicle) called the ESF 2009, which was patterned after an S400 Hybrid and came with numerous safety features, most of which were working.
One of the most significant safety elements in the ESV is an auxiliary brake installed into the floor of the vehicle.
When the car senses an impending collision, the braking bag inflates, producing friction and increasing deceleration.
The front of the car is also lifted up by 80mm as a means by which dive is compensated. Furthermore, engineers of the German carmaker have created inflatable metal structures which can save space and boost protection in case of a collision.
These can be inflated by pressures ranging between 10 to 20 bar. The space they save become available for other safety devices to be installed.
When the car senses a side impact, with the aid of special seat bolsters, the occupants can be moved up to 50 mm to the center of the cabin. Reflective tires, full emergency braking and seat-belt fitted air bags are also part of the safety features of the car.
According to the carmaker, these safety features was not just about scoring points in crash tests, but it is a demonstration of how comprehensive Mercedes-Benz's approach to total car safety is.