Mercedes-Benz has taken the new W221 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid and modified it with experimental safety features. The new testbed is called the ESF 2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle.

The features are quite interesting – inflatable metal structures consisting of side impact bars that can be blown to pressure of between 10 to 20 bar, an “airbag brake” which is located below the car and inflates to create friction with the road to help reduce speed and raise the car up by 80mm to compensate for brake dive, seat bolsters that shift the passengers 50mm into the center of the cabin to reduce injuries from side impacts, and even seatbelts installed inside the airbags.

These are just a preview – the full press release has yet to be unveiled by Daimler. Stay tuned for full details on these experimental safety features.

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