Today, we are surrounded by airbags all throughout car: in the front, at the windows and the interior sides. In the S-Class and E-Class, airbag components are now even integrated into the rear seat belts: the beltbag inflates pyrotechnically and as a result more than doubles the width of the belt.
It was a long journey to this success, a journey on which the engineers also explored unusual avenues. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, some of them attended an "officially recognised special blasting training course for airbag technicians" that included a final exam to be licensed to experiment with propellants. It paid off: the charges actually proved to be an excellent method to inflate the airbag in the blink of an eye when the electronic sensors detect an accident.
Systematic protection: the side view of the passenger cell of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon (W 213) shows numerous restraint systems.