What is An Active Headrest & How does it work?

Active Headrest

Active Headrest Meaning & Working Explained

Active Headrest system or is a passive safety system in a car. Some manufacturers also term it as the ‘Active Head Restraint’. It protects the occupants mainly from neck injuries.  It is especially effective in the events of rear-end collision. However, more advanced systems such as the rear vehicle monitoring system can also avoid the rear-end collisions effectively.

The engineers observed that the passengers in the car suffered serious neck injuries even when the vehicle confronts a rear end collision of a small magnitude. This happens mainly because of the relative backward movement of the torso and neck of the passenger. In such a case, the torso receives support from the vehicle seat. The neck continues to move towards the rear. This rearward movement transfers all the stress of the impact on the neck, resulting in severe injuries. Active-Headrest plays a key role in such a situation.

Working of Active Head Restraint system:

Working of Active Headrest
Working of Active Headrest system (Courtesy: Toyota)

Active-Headrest system is connected to the electronic control system of the vehicle. Thus it is capable of recognizing the rear end collision. Once the severity of such an event increases a preset limit, this system activates the head-rest. It moves forward and upwards i.e. diagonally to provide support to passengers’ head thereby protecting it from injuries.

Active Headrest on Mercedes (Courtesy: Daimler AG)

Method of activating active headrest system:

The method of actuation of the headrest varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. On BMW vehicles, pressurized gas actuates the headrest while on Mercedes-Benz vehicles, springs actuate it. The effectiveness of this system depends on the accuracy of activation. According to various studies, employing the Active Head Restraint system has significantly reduced the severity of neck injuries in rear-end collisions. Hence, it is gaining rapid popularity.

See the Active Headrest in action here:

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