Japan Develops Pedestrian Airbags


Toyoda Gosei, a company founded by Toyota Motor in 1949 has showcased two new types of airbags that are designed with pedestrian safety in mind.

The airbags work in combination with a pedestrian recognition system which includes camera and radar sensors.

A “hood airbag” protects an adult pedestrian’s head in a collision by inflating from the well where windscreen wipers sit.

A “grill airbag” inflates from the front grill to absorb shock to a child’s head or an adult’s waist.

“We have almost completed the development of the pedestrian protection airbags,” Toyoda Gosei said. “We are now calculating the precise timing to set off the airbags. It depends on the type of vehicle. If the timing is wrong, the airbags cannot protect pedestrians.”

The company is also developing airbags to protect rear passengers from a rear-end collision. They are aimed at compact cars that do not benefit from a large boot/trunk to absorb shock.

Toyoda Gosei manufactures auto components such as airbags, instrument panels and rubber automotive parts which makes up about 90% of its revenue. The remaining 10% comes from business in Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as well as air purifiers and plastic cases for cell phones. They are a major supplier to Toyota Motor which owns 43% of the company.

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