McLaren Group has been granted a patent for a vehicle airbag system with a composite material panel that tears along a break line when the airbag expands. The system includes protection flaps and a tether for enhanced safety measures. GlobalData’s report on McLaren Group 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 McLaren Group, was a key innovation area identified from patents. McLaren Group's grant share as of February 2024 was 44%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Vehicle airbag system with tearable panel and protection flaps

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: McLaren Group Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11865992B2) discloses a vehicle design featuring an innovative airbag system. The vehicle includes an airbag device housed within a housing, with the airbag capable of transitioning from a packed to an expanded configuration through an aperture in the housing. A composite material panel covers the airbag device, featuring a break line that allows a detachable portion to tear away when the airbag expands, with a first protection flap covering the torn edge. A tether connects the detachable portion to a fixed portion, while a second protection flap covers another edge of the detachable portion once detached. The design aims to enhance safety and efficiency in airbag deployment within vehicles.

The patent further details the composition of the composite material panel, which is reinforced with materials like carbon fiber or fiber-reinforced polymer. The break line on the panel can be formed through various methods such as perforations, grooves, or micro-drilled holes. The tether connecting the detachable portion allows for controlled movement before detachment, ensuring a smooth tear along the break line. Additionally, the positioning of the airbag device relative to the panel ensures effective tearing starting from a specific point. The design is intended for use in various parts of the vehicle cabin, including the facia and pillars, with different types of airbag devices like front, side, or driver airbags. This patented technology showcases advancements in vehicle safety systems, particularly in optimizing airbag deployment mechanisms for enhanced protection of occupants.

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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.