Adding one more element to its world-class selection of safety features, Mercedes-Benz has announced the development of a new active seatbelt buckle. Intended for use in rear seat applications, it the automaker plans to introduce it in the near future on one of its series production luxury-segment models.
Fully integrated into Mercedes' PRE-SAFE system, this innovative enhancement to a conventional belt setup uses an electric motor to automatically extend the buckle by 70mm (2.8 inches) when the car's rear doors are opened. To further assist the process, the buckle also features an illuminated insertion slot. Once the connection is complete, the buckle automatically retracts to effectively remove belt slack in the thorax and pelvis areas and properly position the restraint for optimum passenger protection. In addition to its primary function, the active seatbelt buckle also can provide up to 40mm (1.6 inches) of reversible instant pre-tensioning capability when the PRE-SAFE system does swing into action in anticipation of a potential imminent crash situation.