Ford has filed a patent application for what the brand calls a “vehicle seat bottom with independently deployable devices.” This actually means an airbag inflates in the bottom of the front seats in the event of a crash to prevent front passengers from submarining.
So that we are on the same page, passenger submarining occurs in some frontal collisions where people move forward hard enough for the lower seat belt to shift over the stomach. This causes severe abdominal injuries and Ford knows that a seat bottom with a “deployable device” can avoid such instances. Of course, these wouldn’t be the same as high-velocity airbags.
Ford’s patent depicts two adjustable thigh supports on the lower seat which double-up to offer more comfort while driving. Under impact, these supports have “deployable devices” that inflate and raise the thigh supports which in turn elevates the front seat occupants. In the process, it absorbs the force on the passengers which in-turn reduces or eliminates the chances of submarining.
Ford knows that it is sitting on an interesting idea, but let’s wait it out and see how the results fare in the final testing. Stay tuned.