TORRANCE, Calif. — The all-new 2021 Acura TLX sport sedan, arriving at dealerships this fall, continues the brand’s “Safety Through Innovation” approach to enhancing safety performance with the introduction of a world’s first passenger front airbag designed to address the issue of severe brain trauma commonly associated with angled frontal collisions.
This next-generation airbag technology is Acura’s latest advancement in occupant safety and ties back to earlier Acura innovations, including the world’s first vertically deploying front passenger airbag (1991), a unique design that reduced the potential for injury from a deploying airbag and was broadly adopted by the automobile industry in subsequent years.
“This new Acura TLX is the latest example of our safety engineering team in Ohio pursuing important innovations to advance toward our goal of a safer and, ultimately, collision-free society,” said Jim Keller, President of Honda R&D Americas, LLC. “I’m very proud of how our engineers analyzed new brain injury research and then took action to achieve one of the most substantial advances in airbag design in decades.”
The all-new passenger front airbag technology in TLX is designed to better manage lateral collision forces that can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely at high velocity, or to slide off a conventional airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury. It was developed in part based on a landmark study of brain injuries led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Transportation, which resulted in the creation of the BrIC (Brain Injury Criteria) methodology for measuring brain injuries in vehicle collisions.
Rather than the single inflatable chamber of conventional airbag systems, the new airbag operates something like a baseball catcher’s mitt, with an uninflated panel first catching and decelerating the occupant’s head with less force, while also directing it inward between two inflated chambers to cradle and protect the head. Specifically, the new passenger front airbag uses four major components: three inflated compartments consisting of a center chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash and the uninflated “sail panel” that stretches between the two side chambers.
Advanced Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies
All 2021 TLX models will come standard with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including multiple new or enhanced capabilities designed to help the driver avoid or mitigate the severity of a collision or help them with typical driving tasks.
Enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)
The 2021 TLX’s Collision Mitigation Braking System uses a wider-angle forward radar sensing unit that can better detect objects ahead in the roadway, including pedestrians. With CMBS, the TLX can then warn the driver of a potential collision and, if needed, act to apply the brakes.
Driver Awareness Monitor
The 2021 TLX also includes a new Driver Awareness Monitor, which continually monitors and assesses driver behavior behind the wheel. Using input from the steering angle sensor to measure both the frequency and severity of the driver’s steering inputs to gauge awareness, the system issues a warning to take a break if it determines the driver is becoming inattentive.
Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)
The 2021 TLX now includes Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), a first for TLX. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), TJA reduces driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle centered in the lane and at a set interval from a vehicle detected ahead.
The entire announcement can be viewed by clicking HERE.