The bi-annual AIRBAG 2018 conference for producers of automobile safety restraint systems to exhibit their products took place in Mannheim, Germany, on 26 – 28 November,

Initially our attendance was to be an opportunity to promote the company’s new name and the exposition was to be a global presentation of the Nippon Kayaku Safety Systems Group as a whole. Unfortunately, several unforeseeable incidents resulted in a change of priorities, which made our preparations for the event impossible, and the Group’s executive management had little choice but to withdraw as exhibitors. Only a few company representatives were able to attend the conference as visitors.

And what was there to show?

Various master battery switches equipped with our glass squibs (GTMS), a new generation of compact inflators and new applications for airbags were displayed at the Autoliv stand.

 ZF introduced “external” airbags as a means of side-impact protection for passengers of small cars; this is called “far side impact”. The external airbag is an airbag on the driver’s side that is activated during impact to the passenger’s side. The passenger’s airbag functions in a similar way, meaning in case of impact on the driver’s side. ZF and other module producers predict that this airbag type will be standard equipment in all automobiles in Europe in the near future. There is no reason to think that Japan, America, China or other countries will be far behind.

Joyson Safety Systems (a successor of KSS and the infamous Takata) presented wide portfolio of safety-belt retractors, airbags and actuators.

Taking the general trends into consideration, the fact that the whole automobile industry is very intensively focusing on self-driving automobiles and on the position of passengers inside the car was obvious. All of them understand the fact that automobiles will no longer need the drivers in the future and that the passengers will not always sit facing forward; passengers may be seated facing to the back or along the sides of automobiles. This will accentuate the requirements for the detection of current passenger positions and the appropriate activation of the safety restraint systems in case of an accident.

The clear conclusion is that, when AIRBAG 2020 takes place in two years, we will be there again with our own stand.