GM has filed a patent application for a new inflatable roof that would deploy to reduce damage in a vehicle rollover.
GM has filed a patent application for an inflatable roof structure that provides added protection in the event of a vehicle rollover.
The GM patent filing has been assigned application number US 2023/0091405 A1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on March 23rd, 2023. The patent was originally filed on September 22nd, 2021, and lists several Michigan-based engineers as the inventors, including Jeff E. Nasca, Daniel W. Booth, Wonhee M. Kim, Peter J. Gareau, and William J. Barnes.
The patent describes an inflatable roof structure that incorporates a series of headers and a bladder system that is located below the headers. The inflatable badder can inflate to a maximum height of 12 cm (4.7 inches) below the headers, expanding the headliner. The headers include a front header section, two side header sections, and a rear header section. The system also incorporates a rib structure adjacent to the bladder.
The system described essentially creates an airbag system that provides added protection in a rollover accident. The system meets a federal safety standard that requires multiple foam shapes along the headliner, which can intrude into the cabin, reducing headroom. Instead, the bladder system would inflate upon impact and retain the inflation needed to protect occupants in the event of a rollover accident.