The company says the new system will significantly improve safety

The new seat belt system from ZF Passive Safety Systems will significantly improve the belt force limitation by adapting to the size and body weight of the vehicle occupants.
At the core of the technology is the Multi-Stage Load Limiter (MSLL), which is primarily responsible for the individual system adjustment.
It helps to further reduce the consequences of accidents for all occupants and enables vehicle manufacturers to meet the increased requirements of the NCAP Roadmap 2030.
The innovative approach of this technology lies not only in the individual control options of the component itself, but also in the extended possibilities for interaction with other safety systems.
This turns the seat belt with the MSLL switchable force limiter into an intelligent, flexibly controllable safety device.
Modern restraint systems already intervene in accidents at a very early stage. In the event of an unavoidable crash, the belt tightens around the body before the crash (pre-tensioning) to reduce belt slack and decelerate it in a controlled manner after the impact and finally transfer it forwards into the airbag.
The systems are based on representative, standardised test subjects (dummies). However, in the future, the NCAP crash test will require even better protection for individual vehicle occupants.
“The demands on the adaptivity of safety systems are increasing – both in the expectations of end customers and in the NCAP test criteria. Our new belt system makes it easier for vehicle manufacturers to meet the increased requirements and specifically reduces the consequences of accidents by adapting even better to the occupant,” said Rudolf Stark, Head of ZF’s Passive Safety Technology Division.
In order to reduce the forces acting on the body in the event of an accident, many seat belt systems already have a two-stage controllable load limiter (SLL), which was an important step towards adaptivity.
To provide even more flexibility, ZF now offers its belt tensioner with multiple switchable load limiter (MSLL).
The MSLL has a multi-stage design and can vary the restraining forces even better over the entire course of the crash.

The system makes it possible to respond individually to people of different stature and to control the belt forces appropriately.
In the future, the path to more variability in belt forces will lead via the sensory recording of the interior in order to recognise even better which people are sitting where and which belt forces are to be applied individually in the event of a serious or minor collision.
Various sources will be used for this – in addition to interior cameras, which, for example, detect when the driver operates the infotainment with their righthand or turns their head towards the rear occupants, the seat belt system itself can provide valuable information.
This is because the sensors in the belt can measure the belt pullout length and thus allow conclusions to be drawn about body circumference and therefore stature and weight.
In addition, there is the link to the active safety systems and their sensors outside the vehicle, from the camera to the radar.
For the networked restraint system, for example, it is important to know from which direction an impact is coming.
In this way, the MSLL can offer small and light people better adapted individual protection in the event of moderate accidents (with impact speeds of up to 35 km/h). This applies, for example, to children in the rear seat.
Older people, who have a higher risk of injury due to age dependent changed bone structure, can also benefit from this.
In addition, the system also potentially improves occupant safety for heavy people in overload accidents (with impact speeds above 56 km/h).

For further information on ZF in Oceania, and its products and services, please visit www.zf.com/au