Video: Ford is the first automaker to introduce inflatable seat belts by 2010, designed to help prevent head, chest and neck injuries
Ford says the new technology helps spread crash force over the human body by as much as five times compared with the more concentrated area with a conventional seatbelt.
The inflatable belts are designed for use in the rear-seats and are meant to help prevent critical head, chest and neck injuries.
The belts are inflated by a cold, compressed gas as opposed to how airbags work, which are blown up by a heat-making chemical reaction. Test subjects have also said that the belts feel more comfortable to wear, since they are softer.
Ford claims the technology will also contribute to more rear seatbelt usage. The belts are compatible and can be used safely with all types of child seats too.
Ford says the inflatable belts will first be introduced in the next-generation Ford Explorer SUV which goes to production in 2010, and the technology will eventually become available in most Ford models globally.