Ford to License Inflatable Safety Belt Tech - Analyst Blog

Ford Motor Co. ( F ) is offering licenses to use its patented inflatable safety belt technology, which is used in Ford Explorer, Flex, Fusion, 2015 F-150 and Lincoln MKT and MKZ. The automaker also purchased additional inflatable safety belt patents from United Technologies Corp. ( UTX ), a company involved in supply of technology products and services to building systems and aerospace industries, in order to facilitate the licensing process.

An inflatable safety belt is similar to conventional seat belts. However, in case of a crash, it positions itself over the seat occupant's torso and shoulder. This reduces the pressure on the occupant's chest as the inflated belt distributes the pressure over a larger area. It also helps in controlling the movement of the head and neck.

Ford is offering the license to its rival automakers, among other companies. If other automakers choose to utilize this technology, it will increase vehicle safety, which is a priority for all automakers. Apart from passenger cars and trucks, the inflatable safety belt can also be used in military vehicles, helicopters, airplanes and water transports.

Apart from inflatable safety belts, Ford offers licenses for various other patents that it holds such as Roll Stability Control, Surveillance mode technology, Belt-Minder system and driver alert warning system. Roll Stability Control uses various sensors to monitor the movement and road surface contact of the vehicle and automatically applies brakes or reduces engine power to prevent an impending rollover scenario.

Surveillance mode technology was mainly developed for Ford Police Interceptor to alert law enforcement officers regarding any approaches from the back. The Belt-Minder system reminds drivers to wear the safety belt and its success rate has been recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Meanwhile, Ford's driver alert warning system monitors the attention level of the driver and provides visual and audible warnings when it drops.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Fox Factory Holding Corp. ( FOXF ) and Tata Motors Ltd. ( TTM ), which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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