Honda launches new safety systems

Japanese carmaker Honda has unveiled two new safety features which will make driving safer in the future.

Scientists at the firm have invented an air bag that inflates twice as quickly as usual and reduces the impact of a crash.

The company said it is the world's first to inflate in stages, mitigating the force of its deployment. The bag inflates to a safe size in 0.015 seconds. Current air bags take 0.030 seconds.

The system will be introduced in the Life mini-car, which goes on sale in Japan in November. Overseas sales plans are undecided as regulations vary, but Europe may get the air bag as early as next year.

Honda engineers have also unveiled a camera system that shows blind-spots for the driver on a car-navigation monitor. The system, which uses cameras in the front, sides and rear of a vehicle, will be offered in the Odyssey mini-van, set to go on sale next month in Japan.

Copyright © PA Business 2008