One of the concerns with tiny cars like the Smart ForTwo and upcoming Toyota iQ is safety. Automakers have long relied on having some crumple zones built into the structure of the car that could absorb the kinetic energy of an impact as they collapse. That's simply not possible in these microcars. Toyota has therefore developed the world's first rear curtain bag to help protect passengers in the diminutive rear seat of the iQ. Toyota claims the inflatable cushion will double the rear head protection performance of the iQ. The iQ should be appearing in final production form this week at the Paris Motor Show.

[Source: Toyota]

Toyota Develops World's First Rear Window Curtain Shield Airbag Tokyo -

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has developed an SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) rear window curtain shield airbag-the world's first*-to protect rear passengers' heads in the event of a rear-end collision.

The innovative airbag deploys from the roof lining above the rear window in the form of a curtain-like barrier. Together with the headrests, the airbag minimizes impact to the head from a colliding vehicle or parts of the hit vehicle, thus helping to reduce the severity of injuries. Its use in the soon-to-be launched "iQ" ultra-compact four-seater is expected to approximately double the car's rear passenger head protection performance.

TMC has continued to actively develop and make available its collision safety technologies-resulting in such achievements as the swift market introduction of SRS curtain shield and knee airbags-to enable its vehicles to better respond to a greater range of accidents.

As a part of its efforts to realize sustainable mobility, Toyota intends to strengthen its traffic safety initiatives in the future through: 1) the development of even safer vehicles and technologies, 2) participation in the creation of a safe traffic environment and 3) activities designed to educate people on traffic safety, thereby contributing to the complete elimination of traffic casualties, which can be viewed as the ultimate hope of a society that values mobility.

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