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Ford Media Center
Ford Motor Company is offering its patented inflatable safety belt technology to other companies and industries, including competitive automotive manufacturers. The availability of licenses may lead to the wider adoption of inflatable safety belts as other automakers seek to enhance passenger safety. The technology is potentially applicable to other forms of seated-passenger transportation, including military use, and airborne passengers traveling by helicopter or airplane, and even for water travel.
"Ford’s longstanding commitment to democratizing technology goes beyond our customers,” said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO, Ford Global Technologies. “In this case, the wider adoption of inflatable safety belts has the potential to make travel safer and help mitigate passenger injuries – especially among children and the elderly.”
In everyday use, inflatable safety belts operate like conventional safety belts. In a crash, the inflatable safety belt deploys over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder to help distribute crash forces up to five times more area than a traditional safety belt. Spreading the pressure over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion.
The inflatable safety belt is currently available on Ford Explorer, Flex, Fusion and the upcoming 2015 F-150, as well as Lincoln MKT and MKZ for outboard second-row seating positions.
In addition to this technology, Ford makes many other patented technologies available for license. Some examples of available safety-related technologies are:
These and other technologies are available through Ford’s corporate Technology Licensing Portal.
Ford also purchased additional inflatable safety belt patents from United Technologies Corp. to help ensure that this technology could be broadly licensed. This effort was made easier with the help of AutoHarvest Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of new technologies by providing unprecedented access to innovators and businesses.
“We founded AutoHarvest with the hopes this type of technology sharing could be realized for the betterment of society,” said David E. Cole, co-founder and board chairman for AutoHarvest. “We are glad to be able to play a role in spreading this safety technology more broadly.”
Ford is a member of the AutoHarvest Innovation Advisory Council along with other leaders in the automotive industry, government and academic research. More information is available at http://autoharvest.org.
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
AutoHarvest Foundation, a 501(C)3 nonprofit, created and operates a unique innovation ecosystem led by some of the most highly respected figures in the automotive and manufacturing industries. In 2012, AutoHarvest.org was launched as the world’s only truly neutral and global on-line meeting place for innovators of all types with an interest in advanced manufacturing. This system allows users of all types to showcase capabilities, technologies and needs system-wide and then privately connect with fellow inventors and commercializers to explore technology and business development opportunities of mutual interest. The AutoHarvest interest group consists of over 250 prominent R&D and manufacturing organizations from industry, government and academia. Recently awarded a multi-year grant by the New Economy Initiative Foundation of Southeast Michigan, AutoHarvest is part of the Detroit Regional Innovation Network. For more information visit: www.autoharvest.org.