Danger not only comes from outside during an accident. In unfortunate
cases even passengers wearing their seat belts can come into contact and injure each other. Interseat Protection in both seat rows helps to prevent this.
Mercedes safety specialists are presenting two proposed solutions in one with Interseat Protection: a protective system for the driver/front passenger and one for the rear-seat passengers. As a common feature of both, the occupants are physically separated from each other if the PRE-SAFE® system registers an accident. Within fractions of a second, a lattice-like airbag support structure extends from between the front seats to keep the driver and front passenger apart. A seat-mounted solution like this has the advantage that the protective barrier adapts itself to the position of the front seats.
The seat position does not need to be taken into account in the rear, therefore a protective pad located above the centre armrest is used when an accident is detected. This pad helps to prevent the two passengers in the rear from impacting each other. When the pad is at rest it can be activated as part of PRE-SAFE®. Within fractions of a second, the seat divider emerges and the two head supports are deployed.
Mercedes accident research has shown that during a side impact, and also during a rollover, the heads of the passengers move along different paths: around 50 milliseconds after the accident, the head of the person facing the impact changes the direction of its evasive movement towards the centre of the vehicle – impelled by the sidebag and head airbag. A second important finding from these analyses is that a collision between the passengers can only be avoided if the torso is supported. The protective pad of the Interseat Protection system is dimensioned accordingly.
In normal cases the protective pad in the rear is more of an innovative comfort feature: the pad is designed to be extended by the passengers at the touch of a button, when it can be used as a head and shoulder support for a comfortable sleeping position. It would also be conceivable to use the space for stowage or a cooler box, or an entertainment console.