Honda today announced three wide-ranging safety advances that the company plans to implement across its vehicles and engineering processes in coming years. The first two technologies are designed to protect occupants and the vehicle itself, while the third is designed to promote increased pedestrian safety.

The lineup includes a new multi-view camera system, third-generation pedestrian crash dummies for more accurate crash testing, and the world's first driver’s-side continuous-stage-inflation airbag.

Multi-view Camera system
The multi-view camera system display views from multiple wide-angle CCD cameras on the vehicle's navigation screen to reduce blind spots, support smooth parallel or garage parking, and support safe driving at intersections where there is limited visibility. This system will be applied first to the all-new Odyssey, which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan next month.

The set-up includes four wide-angle CCD cameras located in the front and rear of the vehicle and on the right and left door mirrors. After synthesizing the images, the system adds additional information including a projection line, which shows the vehicle's projected trajectory based on steering angle information, and a reference line. This in turn provides a reference for the distance between the vehicle and approaching obstacles, making parking and driving easier.

Nissan has also developed a multi-camera system that provides a bird's eye view of the car to eliminate parking accidents, although Honda's system differs in its approach as to how it displays the information from its cameras.

Next-generation crash dummies provide more accurate information
In addition to this, Honda announced that it will begin using its new third generation pedestrian dummy, the POLAR III, in vehicle-to-pedestrian crash tests before the end of this year.

With POLAR III, evaluating injuries to knee ligaments and fractures to lower leg bones will be more accurate thanks to its updated design. To create the POLAR III Honda reviewed materials and shapes of the dummy to match it more closely to the characteristics of the human body, and conducted verification to compare the characteristics of each body part of the dummy against the human body.

New airbag technology means quicker but less damaging airbags
Finally, the third of Honda's safety related announcements was the development of the world's first SRS airbag system that continuously stages the volume of airbag-inflating gas, thereby combining enhanced occupant protection with reduced occupant impact. Honda plans to implement the new airbag design initially for the driver only in the upcoming Life minicar due in Japan in November.

The airbag features a spiral-shaped seam structure and gas release control valve to control airbag deployment and pressure for faster deployment, reduced occupant impact and a longer period of inflation. As a result, the new system accommodates a broad range of occupant positions and will eventually feature in other Honda vehicles.

Since the system can pressurize the airbag faster, it can begin to protect the driver sooner. The spiral structure of the airbag allows the protective surface to be formed at a lower overall airbag volume, thereby providing protection faster than was previously possible.

Furthermore, the new system maintains a constant pressure within the airbag, thereby allowing for a longer period of inflation and protection. From the moment of deployment until the preset moment of deflation, the airbag is designed not to release gas, thereby maintaining a constant pressure and occupant protection.