TRW Automotive has unveiled a new ‘bag in roof’ airbag system, which it says can replace dashboard-mounted airbags rather effectively. While continuing to afford high levels of protection to passengers, the roof-mounted system frees up deployment space in the dash, allowing for automotive interior designers to offer improved interior design aesthetics and better ergonomics.

The US-based automotive supplier says that the new design concept enhances development efficiency – by eliminating the need to package a passenger airbag in the instrument panel, its ‘bag in roof’ design can significantly reduce the development costs of the dashboard, since there’s no need to develop a specific ‘door’ which opens with the airbag deployment.

Functionally compatible with a wide range of vehicle architectures, the airbag unit comprises a cushion and a gas generator, which supplies the gas to the cushion in the event of an impact. TRW says the product offers easy assembly, with opportunities for standardisation, since some of the components are common to all applications.

The system has been worked on for several years, and in close collaboration in the last two with a major European automaker, which has now awarded a significant production contract to TRW for the system. Wonder which company that might be?