Autoliv has been granted a patent for a knee airbag device designed to restrain an occupant’s lower extremity by expanding below a vehicle’s instrument panel. The airbag includes specific portions to ensure optimal protection and prevent rotation of the occupant’s lower extremity. GlobalData’s report on Autoliv gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Autoliv, Passive safety systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. Autoliv's grant share as of January 2024 was 57%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Knee airbag device for vehicle occupant lower extremity restraint

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Autoliv Inc

A knee airbag device has been granted a patent (Publication Number: US11878645B2) for its innovative design aimed at restraining the lower extremity of a vehicle occupant. The device comprises an airbag that expands and deploys below the instrument panel of a vehicle, with an inflator supplying expansion gas to the airbag. The unique feature of this airbag is its structure, with different portions designed to protrude towards the occupant side in a specific manner. The first portion of the airbag is positioned to contact the occupant's first knee before the second portion contacts the second knee, effectively suppressing rotation of the lower extremity.

Furthermore, the patent includes details about the thickness of the airbag in different sections, the presence of baffle plates regulating thickness, and the arrangement of vent holes for gas flow. The design also incorporates separate chambers for the first and second portions of the airbag, connected by a connecting panel to partition the space between them. Additionally, the airbag is structured with independent airbag cushions corresponding to each portion, enhancing its effectiveness in restraining the occupant's lower extremity. The patent highlights the placement of the inflator inside the lower portion of the airbag, towards the front of the vehicle, contributing to the overall functionality of the knee airbag device.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.