Seatbelts have remained almost the same three-point style for over 30 years, even though almost every other type of car safety technology has improved since. Despite the raft of high-tech features such as ESP, air-bags, and pre-crash systems installed on high-end cars, “the single most important piece of safety technology in a car or truck today remains the safety belt,” says Dr. Priya Prasad, Ford Technical Fellow for Safety. “That’s why we’re working hard to further improve safety belt and restraint technologies in the future.”

One of Ford’s possible next-generation safety belts incorporates a four-point “belt and suspenders” design in lieu of the familiar three-point safety belt.

Ford developed a car with such as seat belt and found that users of all shapes and sizes found it to be more comfortable to use. While the four-point safety belt currently is not allowed by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, Ford hopes it’ll be able to convince the powers that be to remove the restriction.